Siamand Rahman breaks 300kg barrier on his way to powerlifting gold at Rio 2016

(| Rio2016)-Siamand Rahman, the strongest Paralympian of all time, became the first powerlifter to break the 300kg barrier on his way to the heavyweight gold medal at Rio 2016 on Wednesday (14 September).

The Iranian powerhouse defended his title in the over 107kg class with another phenomenal performance that saw him virtually competing against himself – and the weights – at the Riocentro Pavillion 2.

The 28-year-old world champion, who weighs 169kg, established an early lead with a lift of 270kg on his first attempt, just 10kg shy of his gold meal winning lift at London 2012. He lifted the historic 300kg on his second attempt and then upped the record with lifts of 305kg and 310kg, sending the crowd wild.

Silver medallist Amr Mosaad of Egypt was far adrift on 235kg, while Jordan’s Jamil Elshebli took bronze with 234kg.

Rahman’s previous best of 296kg, set at the IPC powerlifting world cup in Dubai in February, was equivalent to the weight of three baby elephants.

Earlier in the day, Pavlos Mamalos of Greece finally won Paralympic gold when he claimed the -107kg title with a Paralympic record 238kg lift, ahead of Mohamed Ahmed of Egypt, competing at his first Paralympic Games, and Ali Sadeghzadehsalmani of Iran, who took a third consecutive bronze in the event.

After winning silver at Beijing 2008 and bronze at London 2012, it was a sweet moment for 45-year-old Mamalos, who also competed at Athens 2004, where he came sixth.

“You have to be strong, courageous and always have the will to never give up. It’s absolute happiness right now,” said Mamalos. “During all these years I’ve been doing morning and afternoon sessions every day, having only Sundays to get some rest.”

In the women’s +86kg, Nigeria’s Josephine Orji raised the roof when she broke the world record twice, first lifting 154kg, then raising 160kg moments later. Poland’s Marzena Zieba took silver with 134kg and the Netherlands’ Malaica Tuinfort claimed bronze with 130kg.

Wednesday’s action was the last in powerlifting at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.