Ali Jawad

Sport is full of inspirational stories but Ali Jawad enjoyed an extraordinary 2018 by any standards. After a debilitating 18-month battle with Crohn’s Disease the former World Champion power lifter, who spent four years living and training in Leeds at the national powerlifting centre, admitted that he thought his sporting career was over. Travelling to the Commonwealth Games more out of hope than expectation, the 29-year old star exceeded even his own wildest dreams, winning bronze in the lightweight category. But he wasn’t finished there. At the World Para Powerlifting European Open Championships in France, Jawad lifted 165kg, a new British record, to blow away the field. Still battling medical issues, he will have to overcome huge obstacles if he is to reach Tokyo 2020. But nobody would bet against this remarkable athlete doing just that.