2018 in Review: Powerlifting surprises

Newcomers and underdogs upset all odds this season 21 Dec 2018 By World Para Powerlifting

Some powerlifters exceeded everyone’s expectations when competing this year. Check out four of the most surprising wins of 2018.

Zoe Newson

Despite always finishing among the top four powerlifters, the Brit had never topped the podium at a major international competition. In fact, Newson had taken bronze at her last five!

Those included the last two Paralympic Games, 2015 European Championships, 2017 World Championships and 2018 Commonwealth Games.

But everything changed at the 2018 Europeans in France as she won the women’s up to 41kg overall and European competitions thanks to a 91kg lift.

“It feels weird because I got used to winning bronze and now I have two golds. I am happy with my performance and did not really expect it,” the 26-year-old said.

Adra Lamia

Algiers took one gold at their home African Championships in Algiers, in 2018. But it was not through medal candidates Hocine Bettir or Samira Guerioua, but thanks to Adra Lamia in the women’s up to 41kg.

The 32-year-old lifted 63kg, only 1kg more than silver medallist Akissi Michelle Kouadio of Ivory Coast. Lamia's compatriot Sabrina Moussaoui (52kg) took bronze.

Qi Yongkai

The 19-year-old became the newest powerlifting star in a long line of Chinese champions in the sport. Qi broke the junior world record with an impressive 188kg lift to win the men’s up to 59kg at the Kitakyushu 2018 Asia-Oceania Open Championships.

He then tried to break the Asian record but failed to lift 192.5kg. However, Qi will most certainly continue to surprise in the future. Why not at Tokyo 2020?

Oniger Drake Vega

Hosts favourite Jainer Cantillo and Paralympic silver medallist Evanio da Silva were the strong candidates for gold in the men’s up to 88kg at the Americas Open Championships in Bogota, Colombia.

But it was none other than Cuba’s Parapan American champion Drake Vega who topped the podium after clearing the bar at 207kg, 1kg more than da Silva.

Cantillo disappointed and failed his three attempts.