"Obviously, my big personal goal is to lift 200kg. Hopefully I’ll be able to achieve such a feat in the next few years."
Ali Jawad is back in training following his silver medal performance at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, seeking to reach his best form ahead of the Mexico 2017 World Para Powerlifting Championships.
Great Britain’s 28-year-old believes a good performance in Mexico City can act as catalyst for him to claim another Paralympic medal in three-years-time in Tokyo, Japan.
“A top five finish [at Mexico 2017] would be a successful start to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic cycle,” said Jawad, who claimed gold in the men’s up to 59kg at the Dubai 2014 World Championships with a world record lift of 190kg.
“Winning the world title in my favourite place of the world [Dubai] is still my biggest achievement. Everything from that day was a dream. To become world champion is very special.
“Now I am back in full-time training, on top of my diet and looking forward to competing on the world stage again. I have taken a lot of time off after Rio and, as a result, I think it will be unlikely I’ll be able to defend my world title this time round.”
Egypt’s three-time Paralympic champion Sherif Osman was competing in the men’s up to 54kg in Dubai, but has beaten the Brit in all major competitions since he moved up to Jawad’s category in 2015.
Iran’s Amir Jafari and Nigeria’s Anthony Ulonnam will be another two main opponents in Mexico. “The up to 59kg category is a very competitive one. I am under no illusion about how difficult it will be to achieve a medal,” said Jawad.
“I am also looking forward to competing at the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships next year. Obviously, my big personal goal is to lift 200kg. Hopefully I’ll be able to achieve such a feat in the next few years.
“My ultimate aim is to go for a Paralympic gold medal. Osman remains unbeatable at the moment, but it is my job to try challenge him over the next three years.”
The 2017 World Para Powerlifting Championships will take place in Mexico City from 30 September-6 October, with around 360 powerlifters from 65 countries competing in the Juan de la Barrera Olympic Gymnasium.