Berck-Sur-Mer 2018: Lidiia Soloviova targets medal

Paralympic champion seeks to bounce back after missing podium at 2017 Worlds 24 May 2018 By IPC

“I am feeling good, ready for the competition,” said Lidiia Soloviova.

Six months ago, the Ukrainian powerlifter suffered a shoulder injury. As a result, she ended fourth at the Mexico City 2017 World Championships, the first time she missed the podium at a major international competition.

But the three-time Paralympic champion is now back to full fitness and looking forward to showcasing her strength at the European Open Championships in Berck-Sur-Mer, France, tomorrow (25 May).

“That injury prevented me from competing the best I could in Mexico City, which is why my performance was not great. But I am fully recovered now and anxiously waiting for the Europeans to start,” she said.

Soloviova will face tough-opposition from also Rio 2016 gold medallist Nazmiye Muratli as the Turkish moved up one category to the women's up to 50kg ahead of Berck-Sur-Mer 2018.

“Muratli is a great competitor and a champion. We will see how everything goes at the Europeans but it will be an interesting fight to watch,” said Soloviova.

At 40 years old, the 2015 European champion has won every possible title. But she has no secrets to staying motivated.

“Basically I just enjoy raising the bar, it is such a good feeling,” she said. “I am passionate about the sport and like being strong. I won three Paralympic, one world and one European titles. Now I want to be ready for Tokyo 2020, which would be my sixth Games.

“I actually thought about retiring from powerlifting after London 2012 because it is a physically challenging sport and you can sustain many injuries. We lift big weights. But I ended up continuing.

“Firstly, I want to go to Astana, Kazakhstan, for the 2019 World Championships. I need to go step by step and will see if I have real chances of winning once the competition kicks off. After that, I want to go to Tokyo 2020. Then I will see if I retire or not.

“But apart from winning trophies, I want through my performance to help raise awareness and grow the sport in my country and the world.”

All events will be streamed live on World Para Powerlifting's website and Facebook page.

Live results and a full competition schedule are available on Berck-Sur-Mer 2018's website, where you can also find more information about the Championships.