Former staff sergeant Micky Yule was the last of the powerlifters to compete for ParalympicsGB in Rio yesterday, equalling his weight category PB to finish in sixth place of the men’s -65Kg.
Yule showed much of the determination that has taken him from injured soldier to Paralympic athlete in just a few years as he stepped up to confidently complete a 180kg lift in his first attempt. This equalled his personal best at this weight class, leaving him in third at the end of the first round after three athletes who opened with a higher weight missed their lifts.
The Help for Heroes Recovery Programme athlete then went on to raise the bar up to 184kg for his second attempt, but was unable to make the lift. Paul Kehinde from Nigeria lifted a new Paralympic record of 210kg, leaving Yule in sixth at the end of the second round.
Despite missing 184kg, Yule opted to increase the weight in his third lift to 187kg in an attempt to move up a place in the final rankings, but was unable to complete the lift. The result left him in sixth place, just 1kg behind Nikolaos Gkountanis from Greece.
In the third round, Kehinde won the gold with a 218kg lift, setting a new world record to leave Hu Peng from China with the Silver. After the competition the Nigerian lifer was permitted a fourth attempt to try and better the record he had just set, successfully lifting another new world record of 220kg.
Speaking after the competition, Yule said: “That was really hard today – I’ve never pressed more than 180kg in that weight category, so we knew we had to go big to keep up with the leading countries so we went for it. Rio only happens once and I would have regretted it if we hadn’t tried what we did today – but we live and learn, get stronger and move on to the next one.”
Commenting on Yule’s performance, British Weight Lifting Paralympic Performance Manager Tom Whittaker said: “It was fantastic to see Micky battling it out with the best in the world at his first Paralympic Games. He deserves huge credit after the commitment he has shown to the process required to perform at this level.”
Yule’s performance in Rio wouldn’t have been possible without the support and funding provided by the National Lottery and UK Sport.