"Everything is going well and I'm fast increasing the load on the bar. I am confident to get this place in Rio 2016.”
The IPC Powerlifting World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, concluded on Saturday (23 January) with five podium finishes for the hosts, securing their place at the top of the medals table.
Brazil ended the competition, which also acted as a Test Event for the coming Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, with 10 medals including four golds, two silver and four bronze.
The World Cup was also a chance for athletes to increase their position in the Paralympic rankings for the most important event on the sport calendar. Male powerlifters must be among the top eight in their weight category by 29 February and women have to be in the top six.
Brazil’s Joseano Felipe not only secured the gold medal in the men’s up to 107kg with a 206kg lift, but also moved to No.7 in the rankings.
Felipe explained his schedule with around eight months to go until Rio 2016: "Training two to three hours a day and always tracing my goals, both by competition and by weight lifted. The routine is a lot of training, rest and good nutrition. Everything is going well and I'm fast increasing the load on the bar. I am confident to get this place in Rio 2016.”
The other gold of the day for Brazil came courtesy of Marcia Menezes in the combined women’s up to 79kg, up to 86kg and over 86kg. Menezes scored 93.70 points to take the win according to the AH formula, used to rank athletes when bodyweight categories are combined.
The World Championship bronze medallist in the up to 79kg targeted a 117kg lift, but after lifting 110kg in the first round, Menezes failed to complete her second and third attempt.
"We have one more chance in Malaysia [last stage of the World Cup] and there I will give the same effort,” Menezes said. “My coach always reminds me that in training I do a lot more than the competition. I arrived here very confident because 110kg and 112kg weight is easy for me, but I lacked a bit of concentration. I know I can do it. I intend to train now to be in the Paralympic Games. I will not miss it.”
Chile’s Marion Alejandra Serrano Guajardo took silver with 57.03 points, setting a new junior world and Americas record with a 65kg lift.
Guajardo’s teammate Maria Antoineta Ortiz secured gold in the women’s up to 67kg with a 91kg lift. Brazil’s Terezinha Mulato claimed silver with 87kg but was disappointed with her performance.
"I trained to do better, but every competition is unique and the time is different” Mulato said. “I was prepared for much more. But I'm happy with the result, and improved ranking for the Rio Games.”
Colombia’s Gladys Sanchez Vera (85kg) was third.
In the men’s over 107kg, Hungary’s Sandor Sas was victorious with a 195kg haul. Silver went to Colombia’s Jhon Freddy Castaneda Velasquez (180kg) whilst Brazil secured another medal thanks to Jose Silva (177kg) with bronze.
Despite feeling pain in his right elbow during his second round lift, Silva is confident he is still in the race to get to Rio 2016.
"I'm waiting for the next step [the World Cup]. I will go home and rest to improve my elbow and think about the target. It will be the last chance, so I will increase the training to get there and meet this target," said Silva.
Completing the top three in the medals table were second-placed Chile with eight podiums, including two gold, five silver and one bronze. Colombia were third with two gold, two silver and one bronze.
The next IPC Powerlifting World Cup will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates between 15-19 February. That will be followed by the final stage in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 24-28 February.
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.