Malayalee para-athlete bags historic gold in Asia-Oceania Para Powerlifting

Malayalee para-athlete Joby Mathew lifted India’s first-ever gold medal in the masters’ category of the 2022 Asia Oceania Para Powerlifting Open Championship in Pyeongtaek, South Korea on June 16. The 46-year-old para-athlete who hails from Kochi has competed in his maiden international powerlifting event and claimed the gold medals in the 59kg. 

Although Joby reached eighth in the general category lifting 148 kg, he finished first in four different categories: the Asian Gold Medal 59 kg, the Oceania Gold Medal 59 kg, and the Best Lift Gold 59 kg. Moreover, his performances in the field of lifting helped him qualify for the Asian Paralympics games 2022. 

Meanwhile, it was mandatory for all the performers in the Asia-Oceania championship in Pyeongtaek to perform well during the events in order to qualify for the 2024 Paralympics in Paris. Joby Mathew also did well with his determination. 

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Joby Mathew was born with a paralyzed leg. With 3 feet 5 inches, he was categorized as a person with a physical disability of 60%. Prior to the Pyeongtaek event, he was a veteran of 24 international medals in a range of disciplines such as para-badminton, para-athletics and arm wrestling. Joby is working as a manager at BPCL in Kochi but he always dreamt of becoming a para-athlete.