Page back
Sport Para powerlifting
NPC Great Britain   
Weight 59 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Further Personal Information
Loughborough, ENG
Higher education
Sports Science - University of East London: England
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began powerlifting at age 16 in London, England.
Why this sport?
Friends encouraged him to go to a local gym and a coach there believed he had the potential to compete at an elite level.
Club / Team
Powerbase Gym: Loughborough, ENG
Name of coach
Tom Whittaker [national], GBR
Training Regime
He trains in the gym eight times a week. He also does two sessions on a hand bike.
General Interest
Reading sports autobiographies, supporting English football club Liverpool. (, 13 Jun 2017)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold at the 2014 World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (, 09 Jun 2017)
Hero / Idol
Egyptian powerlifter Sherif Othman. (, 24 Mar 2014)
Although a series of injuries affected his preparation for the 2015 European Championships in Eger, Hungary, he was still able to compete at the event and win a gold medal. (, 26 Nov 2015)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
He listens to the soundtrack from the film 'Rocky' before every competition. Before lifting he stands on the bench and stares at the bar for 20 seconds. "The ritual makes me focus and get into the zone. On the platform, it is me against the bar and nothing else can affect my performance." (, 13 Jun 2017, 18 Oct 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Why be the best when you can be the greatest?" (Twitter profile, 20 Mar 2015)
Awards and honours
He was named Sportsman with an Impairment of the Year at the 2014 and 2015 Leeds Sports Awards in England. (, 14 Mar 2015;, 03 Mar 2014)

He was named the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] Athlete of the Month for April 2014. (, 09 May 2014)
Other sports
He was a talented judoka in his early teens. However, there was no judo category for his impairment in the Paralympic Games so he decided to concentrate on powerlifting instead. (, 09 Oct 2012;, 04 Aug 2011)
To lift 200kg and win a gold medal at the Paralympic Games. (, 13 Jun 2017)
He was born without legs. (, 04 Aug 2011)
Other information
He missed winning a medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London after his final lift was deemed a foul. He protested and the jury ordered a re-lift, but he was unable to complete it and dropped from second to fourth place on weight differential. "I couldn't believe it. It was probably the most heart-breaking moment of my life. I was in tears, I felt robbed. I don't think I'll truly ever get over what happened." (, 09 Oct 2012)

He qualified for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing but became ill the night before his event. He was later diagnosed with Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel problem that forced him to retire from the sport in 2009. He believes the experience made him mentally stronger and in 2010, two weeks after an operation to remove part of his intestine, he decided to resume training. After representing Great Britain at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, he had a relapse and spent three months away from the sport. He returned to full-time training in January 2013. (, 03 Apr 2013;, 09 Oct 2012;, 04 Aug 2011)

He was born in Lebanon during a period of conflict with Israel. When he was age six months his parents relocated the family to London, England. "It was hard enough to bring up kids that didn't have a disability, let alone someone who did. So my parents took the decision that, in order for me to have a normal life, we needed to move away. England was our best option as they provided prosthetic limbs which enabled me to walk." (, 09 Oct 2012;, 04 Aug 2011)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
9 2008 75kg 182.5
4 2012 56kg 185
2 2016 59kg 190
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
12 2006 75kg 147.5
1 2014 59kg 190.0 WR
Commonwealth Games
Rank Year Event Result
5 2010 Bench Press 182.3
3 2014 Bench Press Lightweight 209.4
European Championships
Rank Year Event Result
3 2013 54kg 163
1 2015 65kg 193