India's Malayali para-athlete Joby Mathew has created history by securing four gold medals in the Masters' category of the World Para Powerlifting Asia Oceania Championships in Pyeongtaek, Korea on Thursday.
The 46-year-old from Ernakulam, competing in his maiden international powerlifting event, claimed the gold medals in the 59kg.
Despite finishing eighth in the general category with a best lift of 148kg, Joby was placed first in four separate sections namely Asian Gold Medal 59kg, Oceania Gold Medal 59kg, Best Lift Gold 59kg and Total Lift Gold 59kg.
Moreover, his ranking in the finals of the 59kg open event earned him the qualification for the 2022 Asian Para Games. The event in Pyeongtaek was a mandatory event for athletes vying for qualification to the 2024 Paralympics in Paris.
Joby Mathew has a birth condition that caused stunted legs. At 3ft 5 inches, he is categorised as a physically challenged person with 60% disabilities.
Prior to the Pyeongtaek event, he was a veteran of 24 international medals in a ranged of disciplines such as para badminton, para athletics and arm wrestling.
He is employed as a manager with Bharat Petroleum in Kochi. He trained for the event at SAI Bengaluru under JP Singh with Farman Basha his personal trainer.