Vietnam’s first Paralympic gold medallist seeks first World title against defending World champion
Yakubu(L) and Van Cong will face off in the men’s up to 49kg
The men’s up to 49kg promises to be one of the most exciting events from the Mexico City 2017 World Championships, with Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medallist Le Van Cong facing defending World champion Adesokan Yakubu.
They have already battled for gold once at the latest edition of the Worlds in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2014, with Yakubu taking gold closely ahead of Le.
The Vietnamese became the first athletes from his country to reach the top of the podium at a Paralympics, last year. He did so thanks to a world record 183kg lift, adding 3kg to the mark set by Yakubu at London 2012.
Unfortunately for the Nigerian, he could not participate in Rio 2016 after missing the registration deadline because of his late arrival to the Games. “I trained harder for the Rio Paralympics than the London 2012 Paralympics, but I miss out because of a small mistake that happened between some top officials and us.”
He will now have another opportunity to prove he is the strongest in the category in Mexico City, while Le is hoping to win his maiden World title.
Head to Head
Le: Nationality: Vietnam. Age: 33
Yakubu: Nationality: Nigeria. Age: 38
Le: Games: 2 (2008, 2016)
Medals: 1 (1 gold)
Yakubu: Games: 1 (2012)
Medals: 1 (1 gold)
Le: Championships: 2 (2010, 2014)
Medals: 2 (2 silvers)
Yakubu: Championships: 1 (2014)
Medals: 1 (1 silver)
DID YOU KNOW?
Le: Runs an electronics repair business from his home in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Yakubu: Fractured his shoulder blade at his first competition in 2004, faced pressure from his family to stop but still went on to become World champion 10 years later
More information can be found on Mexico City 2017’s website.
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