Asean Para Games: Kalai Vanen clinches 1st powerlifting medal for Singapore

Kalai Vanen after his first attempt at lifting 140kg.
Kalai Vanen after his first attempt at lifting 140kg. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - Singapore powerlifter Kalai Vanen lifted 140kg to power himself to a bronze medal in the men's up to 97kg class in his Asean Para Games debut on Tuesday .

Marina Bay Sands Hall B was filled with supporters cheering the 56-year old on, but Vanen said he did not expect to win a medal.

"A medal was not on my mind. I just wanted to do my best on my way to the Paralympics in Rio in 2016," he said. "But now, I feel really excited to win Singapore's first medal in powerlifting and tears came to my eyes when I saw my flag go up."

Malaysia's Jong Yee Khie won the gold medal with a new Games record of 200kg, while Thailand's Prakit Tongsang claimed silver with 160kg.

In the men's up to 107kg class, Malaysia's Mohd Shahmil took the top spot, lifting 190kg, while Indonesia's Atmaji Priambodo took silver with 170kg and Thailand's Opas Jaithon claimed bronze with a lift of 145kg.

In the women's category, two records were also broken, with Thailand's Hat Motnok leading the charge and lifting a record 74kg in the women's up to 61kg class. Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy of Vietnam took silver and Malaysia's Bibiana Ahmad took bronze.

In the women's up to 79kg class, Indonesia's Siti Mahmudah broke the Games record by a whopping 35kg, having lifted 115kg to take the crown.