Steely Resolve: A Display Of Grit And Strength By Para-Powerlifter Nur 'Aini

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Steely Resolve: A Display Of Grit And Strength By Para-Powerlifter Nur 'Aini

STORY: Farhan Shafie
26 August 2021
PHOTO: Sport Singapore

Para-powerlifter Nur Aini Binte Mohamad Yasli is really looking forward to enjoying her post-competition fried chicken. It's a well-deserved reward after the rigorous diet and training regimen the 29-year-old went through en route to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Taking part in the Women's Powerlifting 45kg finals, Aini finished in 6th place out of 9 competitors, her steely determination shining through. To say it was a commendable effort for the para-athlete who is making her debut at this level would be a gross understatement.

Way to go, Aini! 💪

Photo: Sport Singapore

"Not getting the personal best is unfortunate. However, I'm still quite happy with what we achieved today as we displayed our technique properly during the competition. Overall, I am still satisfied with what we did. My coach and I showed that we could compete at this level and I hope to continue improving," says Aini.

Having recently won the bronze medal at the 11th Fazza Dubai Para Powerlifting World Cup earlier this year, she was inspired by the tenacity of the other para-athletes whom she competed against. "It was a different kind of mood. They were giving their 100%. I aspire to excel at this level in the years to come."

In accordance with this year's National Day theme, the "Singapore Spirit" is on full display at the Games village, according to Aini. "The whole Singapore contingent is a very close-knit group. After my event, they all came to the dining hall to celebrate and eat chicken with me!" she says. "There is a definitely a feeling of togetherness and solidarity between the athletes and officials."

With this debut performance in the bag, Aini, who was diagnosed with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, hopes to use her experience to help improve others in the para-weightlifting community.

"I hope to inspire my teammates and others with disabilities to perform at a high level," says Aini. "Hopefully, we will see more people participating in this sport in the future."

Nur Aini (left) and coach Muhammad Abdul Razak Bin Mansor.
Nur Aini (left) and coach Muhammad Abdul Razak Bin Mansor. | Photos: Singapore National Paralympic Council (Aini) and Singapore Disability Sports Council

Athlete bio

Aini was approached by Team Singapore Powerlifter Kalai Vanen to take part in the sport, and she competed at the 9th ASEAN Para Games 2017. Aini won the bronze medal at 11th Fazza Dubai Para Powerlifting World Cup, lifting 81kg.

Personal best:

  • 11th Fazza Dubai 2021 World Para Powerlifting World Cup, Women's U45Kg, Bronze
  • 10th Fazza Dubai 2019 World Para Powerlifting World Cup, Women's U45Kg, 5th
  • 2018 Asian Para Games, Women's U45Kg, 4th

Coach:

  • Muhammad Abdul Razak Bin Mansor: In 2018, he guided Kalai Vanen and Nur 'Aini to qualify for the Asian Para Games 2018 and the World Para Powerlifting Championships 2019. He was key to helping Aini improve her personal best by 16kg to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics.

NOTES FROM AINI

On equal representation:

“My biggest achievement is to create awareness, especially for women. Powerlifting is often seen as a male dominated sport. But there’s so much to gain from powerlifting, whether you are a man or a woman.”

On bouncing back:

“There are days when you cannot perform, but you have to accept it and get back on your feet. You have to move on. If every competition goes smoothly, there’s nothing you’ll learn out of it.”

On trusting oneself:

“When I first started, people told me I can’t go far. I am very small, compared to my other competitors. Some also say I should stop doing it, because it will make me look too muscular. But don’t let that stop you. They are not you. Only you know the happiness that comes out of it.”

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TAGS: Tokyo 2020 , Sports , Inspiring Singaporeans , Exceptional People , Local talent
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