Team Singapore

Powerlifter Aini finishes sixth, but happy with her technique

Singapore powerlifter Nur Aini Mohamad Yasli finished sixth out of nine competitors in the women's up to 45kg category in her Paralympic debut yesterday.

The 29-year-old failed on her first attempt at 77kg before completing a successful lift on her next try. She then attempted 82kg in the third and final round but was unsuccessful.

Her current personal best is 81kg and she had been aiming for a new record at the Tokyo Games.

Nigeria's Latifat Tijani took home the gold at the Tokyo International Forum after lifting 107kg, ahead of China's Cui Zhe (102kg) and Justyna Kozdryk of Poland (101kg).

Reflecting on her performance, Aini, Singapore's first powerlifter to compete at the Paralympics, told The Straits Times: "I was very, very happy that I managed to display the technique that I wanted to display. The goal here was to show we had proper technique in our lifts.

"I was pleased even though I didn't do very well in my first lift, I managed to compartmentalise that and do better in my second lift."

Looking ahead, she noted that she had less experience than her fellow competitors, but added: "Having to compete alongside them, I've watched how they have also remained composed. So that is something I will also work on myself as well."

As for her immediate plans, Aini, who has been on a strict diet for months, said: "Now I'll be going back to the village to enjoy the food, because I've been trying to cut my weight for the competition."

At June's 11th Fazza Dubai 2021 World Para Powerlifting World Cup, Aini lifted 81kg to clinch the bronze medal. Before that, her last competitive outing was the World Para Powerlifting Championships 2019 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

Equestrian Maximillian Tan was Singapore's other Paralympian in action yesterday. Riding his horse Don's Day Dream, he finished 11th out of 12 in the dressage individual test - Grade II with a score of 61.588 per cent. - LAURA CHIA and WALTER SIM

Team Singapore