PARALYMPICS for powerlifters started on a high note with five women and 26 men vying for the open women’s and men’s bench press last Saturday at the Sir John Guise Indoor complex.
The open women’s bench press saw Sandra Krismas of West New Britain, Anita Hamambi of East Sepik province, Central’s Regina Wala and Anna Kuri, Agnes Michael, and Rose Peter from Simbu province.
Peter, who won gold in the 2007 PNG Games in Lae, Morobe province, maintained the lead to bag a gold medal for Simbu province.
Michael, also from Simbu, took out the silver while Regina Wala settled a bronze.
During the presentation, Agnes said despite the win, she was not happy with the provincial organisers who had no part in sponsoring them to attend the games.
She also said regardless of their disability, they had the potential to do more and would prove themselves by winning more medals to take home.
The director for Paralympics Federation Sophie Tuna said her team of technical staff and volunteers were conducting classifications for the last three days since the arrival of participants from various provinces.
The first games started over the weekend with five women competing for the open women’s bench press and 26 men (Pool A & Pool B) vying for the men’s open bench press.
Pool B had 15 competitors while pool A had 11 competitors.
Pool A comprised of experienced competitors in Morobe’s Rex Larry, who has some international exposure, and old timer Iwakie Tumala competing against newcomers like Eastern Highland’s Azave Pope and Morobe’s Timothy Harabe who bagged in gold in the finals.
Harabe took gold followed by newcomer Pope and Tumale came 3rd to receive a bronze medal.
Alphonse Teina came in 4th out of the 26 competitors.
Field events will continue for Paralympics tomorrow at the Sir John Guise Stadium.