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Eger, Hungary

Eger, Hungary

Eger 2015

China’s Liu looking to be No.1 in Incheon

Paralympic and world champion Lei Liu is the current Asian world No.1 and heads to the 2014 Asian Para Games with a world record in his sights.

A picture of a man powerlifter on a bench celebrating with his hands up Liu Lei of China celebrates a world-record lift and takes gold in the men's -67.5kg competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. © • Getty Images
By Caryn Maconi | for the IPC

“I will give 100 percent to try to break the record,” Liu said. “If I can break it, I will be very happy.”

World champion powerlifter Lei Liu has set firm goals for October’s 2014 Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea: To keep his spot atop the podium and set a new world record.

Liu, a two-time gold medalist for China at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games, also took the men’s up to 65kg title at the IPC Powerlifting World Championships in Dubai, UAE, earlier this year. His gold-medal lift in Dubai was 203kg, more than three times his own body weight.

Liu set a world record in the men’s up to 67.5kg class at London 2012 but after changes to the weight categories in early 2013, Iraq’s Rasool Mohsin claimed the world record at the 2013 IPC Powerlifting Asian Open Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Chinese standout had taken time off after London to focus on his college studies. Although he did not reclaim the world record in Dubai, he was pleased with his gold-medal performance.

At Incheon 2014, however, Liu hopes to bring the world mark back under his own name.

“I will give 100 percent to try to break the record,” Liu said. “If I can break it, I will be very happy.”

Currently, Liu leads the 2014 Asian rankings in his classification and is favored to win. Still, he does not let the pressure affect him.

“Pressure never occurs in my dictionary,” Liu said. “There is a very good atmosphere on our team, you know. We are always talking about technology. All the chat makes me very relaxed after training.”

Like many Paralympic athletes representing China, Liu benefits from a Chinese fan base that has grown rapidly since Beijing hosted the 2008 Paralympic Games.

“After the 2008 Games, disabled sports are familiar to common Chinese people. More and more disabled friends come to join us to compete and train,” Liu said. “The whole community is very interested – we have lots of volunteers who come to help us and share in the fun of disabled sport.”

In addition, he has a strong support system at the local level.

“The Paralympic Games have a large effect in the organiser country, not only in developing sport in their country but also in earning reorganisation in the community,” Liu said. “After I became a Paralympic gold medalist, I became famous in my hometown. My community knows there are some sports in the world for people with disabilities, and these athletes also fight for their dream and do their best to compete. They are moved by our spirit.”

The Asian Para Games, which are set for 18-24 October, will feature approximately 4,500 athletes from 41 countries competing in 23 sports. They are, however, one stop on the journey to the larger goal – Rio 2016.

“Just as is the goal in Incheon, I will fight for my title in Rio,” Liu said. “I have made a two year training plan, which is secret – but what I can tell you is that three gold medal is my goal, and I will do my best to earn that.”

Beyond his medal hopes, Liu also aims to change the worldwide perception of people with disabilities through his prominence in the Paralympic Movement.

“People become interested in disabled people, and we use our performances to show them that we can be equal,” Liu said. “That is why I love being a Paralympic athlete.”

Rio 2016 opens registration process for Paralympic Volunteer Programme

Over 25,000 volunteers are needed to fill roles for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The Rio 2016 Pioneer Volunteers group photographed during the filming of the campaign. The Rio 2016 Pioneer Volunteers group photographed during the filming of the campaign. © • Alexandre Loureiro/Rio2016
By Rio 2016

“The Volunteer Programme of the Rio 2016 Games will reflect Brazilian diversity; of talents, cultures, ages and interests."

Registrations are now open for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Volunteer Programme.

A total of 70,000 people, Brazilians and foreigners alike, will carry out more than 500 different functions, with 45,000 volunteers involved in the Olympic Games and 25,000 in the Paralympic Games.

Anyone interested in taking part in the selection process has until 15 November 2014 to sign up via the volunteer page on the website.

The programme is wide reaching in the volume and characteristics of the people, but also through the opportunity for personal development that the participants will have at their disposal.

The Rio 2016 Organising Committee will offer an on-line English course for everyone who registers and those selected as volunteers will have an additional period of language classes, in addition to specific training according to their function. The volunteers will also receive a uniform, food and transport on the days they work, and a certificate of participation.

The volunteers represent 33 per cent of the workforce of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with opportunities available for a diverse range of skills and characteristics, including for people with an impairment. Some functions require knowledge and specific skills, which will be performed by specialist volunteers in the areas of Sport, Medical Services, Technology and Languages.

“The Volunteer Programme of the Rio 2016 Games will reflect Brazilian diversity; of talents, cultures, ages and interests. All this diversity will be added to the other thousands of people who will come to Brazil for a greater goal, to participate in the realisation of the largest multisport event in the world with excellence, passion and joy, for the first time in Brazil,” said Carlos Arthur Nuzman, President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee.

To take part, volunteers must be at least 18 years old as of February 2016 (there is no maximum age limit) and ideally to have completed primary education, as well as being available to participate in the selection process and during the Games.

Official logo - Kuala Lumpur 2010

Official logo - Kuala Lumpur 2010

Rio 2016 announces test event programme

Six Paralympic sports to have dedicated test events between August 2015 and May 2016 in the lead-up to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

A view onto the Rio 2016 venues A view onto the Rio 2016 venues © • AECOM
By Rio 2016

“Establishing the calendar is an important step as these events will allow us to test all aspects of the competitions and ensure that, come Games time, everything will be in place for the athletes to produce their best performances.”

To mark two years to go until the start of the Rio 2016 Games, the organising committee has announced is draft test event calendar. It features six Paralympic specific test events and five which will be held alongside Olympic competition as part of a vast programme covering 45 events.

Test events are a crucial part of an organising committee’s work, providing the opportunity to test the competition sites and venue operations, while also giving athletes the chance to compete at the locations where the Games themselves will be held.

The organising committee works closely with the International Sports Federations to define the details of the events, the majority of which will be held in the second half of 2015 and first part of 2016. As well as being an opportunity to test for the Games, they will be top-level competitions in their own right, and some will be ticketed.

Agberto Guimarães, Rio 2016's Executive Director of Sport and Paralympic Integration, said: “Establishing the calendar is an important step as these events will allow us to test all aspects of the competitions and ensure that, come Games time, everything will be in place for the athletes to produce their best performances.”

Delphine Moulin, Rio 2016’s Test Events General Manager, said: “Test events are a vital part of the preparations for staging the Games, providing the opportunity to put all our planning into practice.

“They also present an invaluable chance to integrate the organising committee’s team with the International and National Sports Federations and government teams, who also have a crucial role to play in the delivery of the Games.”

The first event featuring para-athletes will be an integrated sailing event in August 2015 as part of the Aquece Rio Open Series (“Warm up Rio”).

The following month integrated events will be held in canoe sprint, triathlon and archery.

In November 2015, the first full Paralympic test event will be held in boccia, whilst an integrated table tennis event will also be staged.

The Acquece Open Series will continue in January 2016 with wheelchair rugby and in April 2016 with goalball and shooting.

The Paralympic test events will conclude in May 2016 with athletics and swimming, whilst a powerlifting test event has yet to be confirmed.

The events organised by Rio 2016 will form the Aquece Rio (‘Warm up Rio’) series, while there will also be events organised by International and National Sports Federations, in which Rio 2016 will test specific operations.

The full draft calendar, which is subject to change, can be found here.

Brazilian Powerlifter Emerson Barbosa banned for life

Athlete tested positive during an out of competition test prior to the IPC 2014 Powerlifitng World Championships.

Anti-Doping Laboratory Analysts Myriam Kabu (L) and Damon Maheux work in the anti-doping laboratory which tested athlete’s samples from the London 2012 Games © • Getty Images

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced Brazilian powerlifter Emerson Barbosa has been banned for life and fined EUR 1,500 for committing a second Anti-Doping Rule violation in the space of five years.

Barbosa’s second violation occurred following an out-of-competition blood and urine test on 4 April 2014 prior to the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships in Dubai, UAE.

His sample returned an adverse analytical finding for Methasterone metabolite. This substance is included on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 2014 Prohibited List under the category S1.1A Exogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroids. It is prohibited both in and out of competition.

As this was Barbosa’s second Anti-Doping violation, the hearing panel decided to ban him for life and fine him EUR 1,500. He also had all results obtained from the date of the test and onwards, disqualified with all the resulting consequences including forfeiture of any medals, points, records and prizes.

Barbosa’s previous anti-doping violation in 2009 saw him test positive for Oxandrolone, which is an anabolic steroid. He was given a two year sanction from the Brazilian National Paralympic Committee and suspended from 16 May 2009 until 15 May 2011.

The principle of strict liability applies to anti-doping matters. Therefore, each athlete is strictly liable for the substances found in his or her sample, and that an anti-doping rule violation occurs whenever a prohibited substance (or its metabolites or markers) is found in his or her bodily specimen, whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault.

As a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC), the IPC remains committed to a doping free sporting environment at all levels. The IPC, together with the International Federations and the National Paralympic Committees, established the IPC Anti-Doping Code to prevent doping in sport for Paralympic athletes, in the spirit of fair play. The IPC Anti-Doping Code is in conformity with the general principles of the WADC.

In July 2014, the IPC announced it is considering taking action against National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) as part of a range of measures to reduce the number of anti-doping violations in para-sport, in particular the sport of powerlifting.

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