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Powerlifting

Series of 2015 regional powerlifting comps announced

Competitions confirmed for the Americas, Asia and Europe in the year before the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Faris Al-Ajeeli of Iraq sticks his tongue out whilst attempting a lift Faris Al-Ajeeli of Iraq sticks his tongue out while attempting a lift during the men's heavyweight competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. © • Getty Images
By IPC

"The best athletes in the world will be looking to put in top performances and test themselves once again against their closest competition. We also hope that countries will bring through new talent via the trial increases in athlete numbers."

IPC Powerlifting has announced the host cities for three major regional Championships which will take place in 2015 and will act as major stepping stones on the road to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The first regional Championships of the year will be the first ever Americas Open Championships which will be staged in Guadalajara, Mexico, between 26-29 April. It will serve as a qualifying event for August’s Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.

The Asian Open Championships will be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 26-30 July, for what will be the first IPC Powerlifting competition in the country, whilst the European Championships will be staged in Eger, Hungary, 24-28 November.

All three competitions will be open to all countries to ensure athletes have as many opportunities as possible to qualify for Rio 2016.

A trial change to the number of athletes countries can enter will mean that National Paralympic Committees can submit a maximum of 15 male and 15 female lifters spread across the 10 weight categories in both junior and senior competitions. However, there still must not be more than two competitors from any particular country in a single event.

A dedicated event website for the 2015 IPC Powerlifting European Open Championships has been launched, while websites for Almaty and Guadalajara will be produced shortly. In addition, the IPC Powerlifting website has also been given a new look ahead of the forthcoming season.

Jorge Moreno, IPC Powerlifting Sport Manager said “After such a successful World Championships in Dubai, UAE, in April, we are delighted to be holding these events in the year before the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

“The best athletes in the world will be looking to put in top performances and test themselves once again against their closest competition. We also hope that countries will bring through new talent via the trial increases in athlete numbers.

“We are really pleased to be able to hold for the first time the Americas Championships in a city which successfully staged the 2011 Parapan American Games.

“This new event will help complement the European and Asian Championships which have been on the calendar for some years, and increasing the number of high level competition opportunities for all athletes.”

Zsolt Gomori, President of the Hungarian Paralympic Committee, said: “It is a great honour for us to be elected as host country of the 2015 IPC Powerlifting European Championships. We feel very privileged to organise this outstanding event in our Paralympic Centre in the Hungarian town of Eger.

“Our local organising team has the experience of hosting high level international events since 2010 and are deeply committed to welcome and serve the participants and guests of the European Championships on a high standard.”

Pablo Larraga, President of the Mexican Paralympic Committee said: “Guadalajara is excited to welcome athletes and their delegations from all the countries around the world.

“Due to the great impact and experience obtained during the organisation of the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games, the Mexican Paralympic Committee selected Guadalajara as the host city for the first IPC Powerlifting Americas Open Championships.

“We feel privileged that the competition will be held in Mexico and we look forward to welcome you with open arms to celebrate together this great Fiesta in Guadalajara!”

The 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, this April attracted 330 athletes from 60 countries, the most ever.

At the 2013 IPC Powerlifting Asian Open Championships, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 3-7 November, around 200 athletes from 30 countries gathered to break a total of ten world records ahead of the World Championships.

The 2013 IPC Powerlifting European Open Championships in Aleksin, Russia from 22-26 May saw the host nation topping the medals table with 18 medals, including 11 golds.

- Ends-

Gu Xiaofei - Powerlifting - London 2012 Paralympic Games

Gu Xiaofei - Powerlifting - London 2012 Paralympic Games

First powerlifting referees qualified in Canada

A total of seven referees took part in training ahead of the TORONTO 2015 Parapan American Games.

A total of seven new powerlifting referees were trained in Canada in 2014 Jon Amos (third from left) from IPC Powerlifting trained seven referees in Canada. © • IPC
By IPC

The programme aimed to develop national referees ahead of the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games from 7-15 August, where powerlifting is one of 16 sports on the schedule.

A total of seven people have successfully passed their training to become the first ever qualified national powerlifting referees in Canada.

The programme aimed to develop national referees ahead of the TORONTO 2015 Parapan American Games from 7-15 August, where powerlifting is one of 15 sports on the schedule.

Attending the TORONTO 2015 sponsored course was Jon Amos, Chairperson of IPC Powerlifting’s Sport Technical Committee and IPC Powerlifting Certified Educator, who helped to train the referees.

Each attendee was nominated by the Canadian national governing body to be trained on the course.

The new trainees will now prepare themselves for TORONTO 2015 by officiating at various national competitions.

In 2014, other courses have taken place in Hungary, United Arab Emirates, and Kazakhstan. The final course of the year is due to take place in November in Brazil.

Training for referees and classifiers was also held in Turkmenistan, supported by the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee the Agitos Foundation.

Currently, a total of 56 new referees are now qualified as a result of the five courses.

In other sports, organisers of the TORONTO 2015 Games have started various projects to develop para-sport in the Americas, working alongside the Agitos Foundation.

As part of “The Road TO2015: Agitos Foundation Sessions”, coaches and classifiers have been trained in swimming, athletics and goalball.

The TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games will feature around 1,600 athletes from 28 countries competing in 15 sports, with just over one year to go until the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

There are currently four levels that referees can achieve within IPC Powerlifting – national, regional, international category I and international category II.

Powerlifting referees Canada 2014

Powerlifting referees Canada 2014

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