Dubai, one of the seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates, is set to host the final World Para Powerlifting World Cup of the season with Paralympic and World stars aiming for important world ranking points in the qualification pathway for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
Around 200 lifters from 36 nations will be seen in action at the Dubai Club for People of Determination for the next four days at the Fazza 12th Dubai 2022 Para Powerlifting World Cup which gets underway on Thursday (15 December).
The World Cup also holds significance as it is the first time that the Referee Challenge format (referee to review video) would be implemented for Lift Challenge unlike the Jury Challenge format that has been used so far in World Cups.
This will be also the first time that the World Cup in Dubai will be held under new technical rules and regulation in age groups – Rookie, NextGen, Elite and Legend, a rule that allows a lifter to win medals in multiple age groups. Two medal types – Best Lift and Total Lift – were also established in this rule.
Perez to headline field
Mexican legend Amalia Perez, the four-time Paralympic champion and the reigning world champion in the up to 61kg class, will be the biggest name in the field. Perez, who is the only representative of Mexico in the event, would be aiming for yet another gold after her success at the 2022 Parapan American Open Championships in July.
Jordan will have their Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champions Omar Qarada and Abdelkareem Khattab, who went on a record-breaking spree since his world record en route the gold medal in men’s under 88kg at Dubai 2021 World Cup.
While Qarada will be the favourite in men’s under 49kg, Khattab would be aiming for yet another record-breaking show in men’s under 97kg, this time.
Khattab, also the reigning world champion, has in fact set his sights on another world record in Dubai - a new record of 250kg in the men’s -97kg.
“I already have the world record in - 88kg, which is my pet event, and I want to set a new world record in - 97kg. Here in Dubai, I will be competing in this new category. I hope I can reach my target here which will be also the pathway to Paris 2024 Paralympics,” said Khattab, who has set the men's up to 88kg world record - 250kg - at the Tbilisi 2021 Worlds.
The Jordan star is expected to have a strong challenge from India’s Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sudhir and local Paralympic star Mohammed Khamis Khalaf, who will lead the 13-member UAE team.
“My body feels good. And I am hoping to get a medal at the Fazza Championships this time as well. This event will also be a preparation for the World Championships taking place also in Dubai next year.
“The main target will be to earn world rankings points for the qualification to Paris 2024 Paralympics,” said Khalaf, who along with team-mates Ayesha Almutaiwei and Adel Shabih claimed gold medals at the recent IWAS World Games 2022.
In the heavyweight category, Iran is expected to dominate with reigning world champion Ahmad Aminzadeh (men's over 107kg) is hoping to create a record in Dubai and get the important ranking points. Meanwhile, Roohallah Rostami would be hoping to set a record in the men's up to 80kg.
“I hope to make my country proud again and set a new record in Dubai,” said Aminzadeh who idolises the legend Siamand Rahman.
‘Rehearsal of World Championships’
Majid Rashed, Director of the Fazza International Championships and Asian Paralympic Committee President, said that the 12th edition will be one of the strongest World Cups as it will offer important ranking points in the qualification pathway for the Paris 2024, in addition to applying the new amendments to the game and the Dubai 2022 competitions.
“The event is important as it is a rehearsal for the World Powerlifting Championships to be hosted by Dubai next August, especially since the administrative and technical development of Fazza Championships has earned us the world's confidence in hosting major world championships in various parasports,” said Rashed, who wished very best to all the participants.
The first day will feature six finals with the women's up to 41 kg to open the Dubai 2022 World Cup. You can watch the action live here.