Para-athlete smashes world record with incredible powerlift

Nigeria's Esther Oyema has won gold at the Commonwealth Games with an incredible world record powerlift.

Oyema held the previous world record of 126kg in the lightweight division - set four years ago at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

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But the Nigerian was intent on breaking it on Tuesday, and did so by a whopping 5kg.

Oyema threw her arms up in triumph after lifting 131kg on the Gold Coast, easily enough to win gold ahead of compatriot Lucy Ejike, who scored silver.

What an effort! Image: Getty
What an effort! Image: Getty

The Nigerians dominated the para-powerlifting event on Tuesday, with Roland Ezuruike winning the men's lightweight division, while Ndidi Nwosu won the women's heavyweight gold.

Compatriot Paul Kehinde also won a silver medal.

Before these Games, Nigeria had won all eight Commonwealth Games gold medals contested in para-powerlifting since the sport was introduced at Delhi 2010.

“Our athletes travel and compete often, almost as much as any other Nigerian athletes,” head coach Feyisetan Are said.

“We manage our training and make sure that we are doing the right things so that we don’t get injured.

“We don’t do programs that come from other sports or are meant for other types of athletes or bodybuilders. Para-powerlifting is its own sport and we need our own specific programs."

Former Aussie track star Kelly Cartwright lifted a top of 64kg to place seventh behind her much bigger and more experienced rivals in the lightweight division.

And the 47kg Cartwright couldn't be happier with her para-powerlifting debut, which is hardly surprising given her three lifts produced two personal bests and a world championships qualifier just eight months after picking up the gruelling bench-press discipline.

"I was nervous being out there but I'm more nervous about people expecting things," Cartwright said.

"I was number one in my class and won a gold medal. It's not easy to swap over sports ... I've come over to a very difficult, technical sport.

"It's going to take many years so I have to get that ego out of my head and realise I started somewhere in athletics and have to start somewhere with this."

Cartwright started lifting while in the gym rehabilitating her ankle after post-London surgery.

Fellow Aussie Cristine Ashcroft was due to compete in the women's heavyweight class, but was forced to withdraw due to illness.

At October's national titles she set an Australian record for the 86kg-plus class of 77kg.

with AAP

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