A Pakistani contingent of powerlifters, including Saniha and Twinkle, was recently sent to Singapore to participate in the Oceania Classic Championships and Pacific Invitationals. The championship kicked off at the Park Avenue Convention Centre in Singapore from December 7 and will end on December 10.
The powerlifting debutant, Saniha Ghafoor, felt that it was high time for the women of the country to make a mark in sports.
Brilliant performance by Pakistani girls in Oceania-Pacific powerlifting championship. Twinkle Sohail and Saniha Ghafoor clean sweeps with 4 gold medals each in their weight categories. pic.twitter.com/43TK2MRlCY
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) December 9, 2017
She managed to bag four gold medals in in the 57kg category for squats, bench press, deadlift and total weight. The powerlifter lifted an aggregate weight of 280kg, 115kg during squats, 55kg during bench press and 110kg during deadlift.
While talking about her experience, Saniha said, “to make a successful debut is very important, especially as a female Pakistani power-lifter. It’s more than what we can ask for at the moment. I’m making my debut and I’m glad I have other female players on the team who have won medals. If I can bench 160kg, I know I can win gold. I’m aiming for nothing less.”
Saniha trained rigorously to be able to achieve this position and shared her preparation, saying, “it is important to train constantly; both powerlifting and weightlifting are challenging sports. I find weightlifting to be easier and of course, powerlifting is something which I’ve just started. However, both are strength sports and require top form.”
Twinkle Sohail is another powerlifter who bagged four gold medals.
Oceania Pacific Powerlifting
After Sabiha Ghafoor, now Twinkle Sohail won all four Gold Medals in 72kg category. Now Pakistan's gold tally is 8. Proud of you girls… #womenpower #Powerlifting pic.twitter.com/JECpR6sNRn
— Akber Ali (@AkberAli2611) December 9, 2017
Yet another Pakistani athlete, Sybil Sohail, has also won all gold medals in her particular category
Another clean sweep by Pakistani girl in Oceania Pacific powerlifting championship. Sybil Sohail bags all for gold medals in 47kg weight category. pic.twitter.com/woDKMSck4Z
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) December 10, 2017
Pakistanis are immensely proud of these ladies winning the medals and representing Pakistan on an international level.
Well done ??
— Adnan Zakir (@ad_grays) December 9, 2017
And that they had made the nation proud.
What a moment of Pride
Our Saniha Ghafoor won 4 gold medals in weight lifting event in 57 kg category during #AsianPacific competition. Proud of you Saniha.#Pakistan #AsaiPacificWeightLiftingEvent
— Muhammad Yasir khan (@yasirilyaskiani) December 9, 2017
Both the women were highly appreciated.
#AsiapasficPowerlifting:Pakistani women grabbed 8 gold. After Seniha now Twinkle Sohail won all four Gold in 72 weight. Proud of you Power lifters and keep in up
— M YOUSAF (ANJUM) (@yousafexpress) December 9, 2017
This is a huge achievement on part of these girls and will provide a boost to women in the country who want to participate in sports. At the same time, this victory should also be a reminder to the authorities that women’s sports also need to be invested in. These are our players and their victories must not go to waste.
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments.
Editor’s note: This piece has been updated to show the actual photographs of the athletes who competed and won the medals. An earlier version mistakenly used athlete Maryam Nasim’s photograh.
Cover image via: @faizanlakhani / Twitter