Sport

Blind lifter Malek Chamoun dreams of Commonwealth gold

MALEK Chamoun's dream of one day playing rugby league for the Canterbury Bulldogs was taken from him as a young teenager.

His parents didn't have the heart to tell their young seven-year-old son, who loved rugby league, that he was suffering from a condition known as retinitis pigmentosa that would eventually leave him blind.

It wasn't until several years later, when some high school mates started talking about getting their licences, that they broke the news to him about his worsening eye condition.

"I trained with kids at school and played in the park, but I never played a game because I kept dropping the ball,'' Chamoun told APN, able to see the funny side of his condition.

Malek's father George, who represented Australia in weightlifting, thought his son might enjoy the sport and they've been "Team Chamoun" ever since.

While now completely blind, the 25-year-old Sydney weightlifter of Lebanese descent says he can picture gold in the 85kg division at next month's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Chamoun refuses to see himself as disadvantaged because he is blind, although his disability presents some hurdles during competition.

Competitors have one minute to get from the warm-up area onto the competition platform and lift.

His father helps him navigate through the busy warm-up room to the stage, but from then on Malek is on his own if something goes wrong.

He has special notches on his bar to help him position his hands, but needs a week of practice at the competition venue to perfect his walk from the warm-up room onto the lifting platform.

"There's always people in the way, weights in the way and then you have to get up the stairs, so I have to move quite quickly," he said.

"When I get to the bar, I have to find my grip. There are notches on the bar so at times I have to adjust a bit."

Chamoun trains on a special competition-size wooden floor with a famous logo on it in his father George's garage.

His father paid $5000 for the 2000 Sydney Olympics weightlifting platform which he laid on the garage floor a few years later for his son to train on.

"It feels like such an honour training on it because you know all these great athletes would have lifted gold medal on it in Sydney so you want to do well," he said.

Topics:  canterbury bulldogs, weightlifting


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Children enjoy lesson in diversity

COOKING UP A STORM: Darcey, Paris, Curtis, Henry, Dane and Max cook wombat stew with educator Miss Cherie.

Multicultural playgroup celebrates differences.

Explore the Blackwater North State School Fete

News

Enjoy the Blackwater North State School Fete on September 2.

Junior teams prepare for grand final battle

PLAY HARD, PLAY FAIR: Emerald Brothers Junior Rugby League players Jaidyn Cody, Lachlan Ware and Patrick Whipp go in for a tackle in the U11 game against Dysart.

The Emerald Brothers is aiming to win all four junior grand finals.

Latest deals and offers

Heartfelt donation to hospital

CQ Angel Mums donates a Heartfelt camera to Emerald Hospital's maternity ward for families who experience infant loss.

Children enjoy lesson in diversity

COOKING UP A STORM: Darcey, Paris, Curtis, Henry, Dane and Max cook wombat stew with educator Miss Cherie.

Multicultural playgroup celebrates differences.

Explore the Blackwater North State School Fete

News

Enjoy the Blackwater North State School Fete on September 2.

CQ hairdressers targeted in crackdown on under paid staff

Hairdressing businesses were a key area of the CQ audit into staff pay and conditions.

Inspectors audit hundreds of businesses, recover $110,000 in wages

The rains are here! Downpours to wash away monthly totals

Heavy rains predicted tomorrow and Wednesday

Junior teams prepare for grand final battle

PLAY HARD, PLAY FAIR: Emerald Brothers Junior Rugby League players Jaidyn Cody, Lachlan Ware and Patrick Whipp go in for a tackle in the U11 game against Dysart.

The Emerald Brothers is aiming to win all four junior grand finals.

Patti Smith confirmed for Bluesfest 2017

CONFIRMED: US singer Patti Smith performing in Switzerland last year.

Find out who else in the first line up announcement

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

Doco reveals real story behind Black Hawk Down

Former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant shares his story, which helped to inspire the movie Black Hawk Down, in the TV series No Man Left Behind.

FORMER pilot recounts ordeal which inspired a Hollywood movie.

What's on the big screen this week

Toby Kebbell and Jack Huston in a scene from the movie Ben-Hur.

AN OLD classic returns to the big screen with a new young star.

Bachelor Richie gives bacon-loving Noni the boot

Noni Janur features on this season of The Bachelor.

TOOWOOMBA swimwear designer still single but focusing on her career.

Zumbo's Just Desserts serves up magical dishes

Gigi Falanga, left, joins hosts Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo on the TV series Zumbo's Just Desserts.

ADRIANO Zumbo’s decadent creations have become prime-time viewing.

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.