The Para powerlifting season crosses the ocean to the Western hemisphere with the 2022 Parapan American Open Championships in St. Louis, USA.
The regional championships will take place from 8 to 11 July (Friday to Monday) and it will be the first Americas Regional Championships in four years. Bogota, Colombia hosted the last championships in the Americas region (North America, South America and Central America) in 2018.
The event in St. Louis will gather 152 athletes from 27 countries. As an Open championships, the event will also see powerlifters from Africa, Asia and Europe in action.
The competition will encompass 10 different weight classes each in men’s and women’s competition. The thrilling weekend will sign off with the men’s, women’s, and mixed team events.
Day one features three women’s classes with the up to 50kg, 55kg, and 61kg events. A name to watch will be Amalia Perez, the four-time Paralympic champion and the reigning world champion in the up to 61kg class. The powerlifter from Mexico also captured gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The men’s up to 59kg and 65kg also take the stage on day one. Herbert Aceituno of El Salvador picked up bronze in the up to 59kg at Tokyo 2020 becoming the first athlete from his country to win a Paralympic medal.
Aceituno also represented the Americas at the Asian Open Regional Championships last month in Pyeongtaek, South Korea where he tied for silver against the strong competition.
Juan Carlos Garrido Acevedo of Chile will be chasing Aceituno in the up to 59kg class after winning bronze at the World Championships last year.
Days two and three action
The action turns up on day two with four men’s classes and two women’s classes. For the men, it’s up to 49kg, 54kg, 72kg, and 80kg classes.
USA’s Christian Largo will try to capture glory for the host nation in a strong field in the up to 72kg class.
Day two features the lightweight classes on the women’s side with the up to 41kg and 45kg classes.
Day three features a loaded schedule with the women’s up to 67kg, 73kg, and 79kg classes. The men’s classes of up to 88kg, 97kh, 107kg, and the heavyweights at over 107kg will follow on day three.
Brazil’s Mariana D’Andrea is the reigning Paralympic champion and a silver medallist at the Tbilisi 2021 World Championships in the women's up to 73kg class. She will be the favourite to add another gold to her trophy cabinet in St. Louis.
Follow it live on Facebook
Day four starts off with the women’s heavyweight classes of up to 86kg and over 86kg.
The competition will conclude with the men’s, women’s, and mixed team events. Chile won the mixed team event at Tbilisi 2021 with Colombia in second place. Brazil and Mexico are among the other top contenders.
The St. Louis 2022 Parapan American Open Championships will be streamed live on the World Para Powerlifting Facebook page.
Live results and entry lists can be found here.