Ali Jawad claims a ‘medal in life’ after inspiring journey to Tokyo
The old Ali Jawad has died, and a new life awaits the powerlifting champ, whose next goal is to regain his health.
The 32-year-old was not there seeking a medal in his fourth Paralympic Games, and he did not receive one. He was in Tokyo to show that he could overcome Crohn’s disease and compete on the largest stage in his sport.
Jawad accomplished exactly that, lifting 163kg and then 164kg before attempting and failing at 166kg and finishing sixth in the competition.
He stated, “I’m very proud to have made it here because I was never supposed to make it.”
“I said all along my medal was to get here and I’ve done that. I don’t have to have a medal around my neck to represent the journey that I’ve been through.”
“I’ve managed to take Crohn’s to the very limits of what anyone’s been able to take it before, and managed to survive and I’m here. I’m very proud,” he added.
At the Tokyo International Forum, he was introduced to dazzling lights and pulsing music, a bizarre way to end three years of isolation at home in Loughborough.
The truth is that “the old Ali” would have won -59kg gold here. Qi Yongkai of China won gold with 187kg lift, while the British claimed Paralympic silver in Rio with a 190kg world record.
“Actually, if you look at the results, I can still mix it with the best at my best, I just have to be healthy,” he added.
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