“I want to lift more than 115kg, which is the current Brazilian record in my category [up to 86kg] and my best achievement. I have been training well and I will do it,”
91 powerlifters from four countries, including athletes from Brazil firmly on their road to Rio 2016, have gathered for the 2013 IPC Powerlifting Brazilian Powerlifting Invitational Championships in Fortaleza, Ceará, hoping to qualify for the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships.
Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia have all sent teams to the University of Fortaleza for the last qualification opportunity for South American athletes, which started yesterday (6 November) and runs until 9 November.
The Brazilian team in Fortaleza will feature three of the five Brazilian representatives from the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Marcia Menezes, Rodrigo Rosa and Josilene Alves Ferreira. Menezes and Rosa finished in sixth place in their respective categories at the 2012 Games.
At the 2010 World Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Ferreira achieved a fourth place finish. In Dubai, Ferreira is seeking to improve on that position, but needs to perform well at the invitational in Fortaleza to secure her position on the Brazilian team that will travel to the United Arab Emirates.
“I want to lift more than 115kg, which is the current Brazilian record in my category [up to 86kg] and my best achievement. I have been training well and I will do it,” she commented confidently.
43 year-old Ferreira contracted polio at eight months old and now uses a wheelchair. She began powerlifting in 2002 as a form of rehab, but she took a shine to the sport and went on to become an elite athlete who has competed in two Paralympic games at Beijing 2008 (finishing in fifth place) and London 2012.
The four athletes who won gold at the World Dwarf Games in August, in the USA, will also don Brazil’s colours and compete for a medal and a spot in Dubai. In August 2013, Luciano Dantas, Lucas Tavares, Erinaldo Ferreira and Maria Rizonaide each brought back a gold medal from the World Dwarf Games.
The Brazilian powerlifters will be evaluated by the technical commission during the competition and will have to meet certain goals for each category. Those who do will be invited for a training week and, if they meet the criteria, they will participate in the 2014 IPC Powerlifting Hungarian Open in January, followed by the World Championship in April in Dubai, UAE.
In addition to powerlifting, the capital of Ceará will also host another para-sport competition this weekend (9-10 November).
Athletes will compete in the third and final national event of the Caixa Loterias Athletics and Swimming Circuit. More than 500 athletes, including Paralympic champions, will compete for medals on the track and field of Unifor, and in the swimming pool of Náutico Atlético Cearense. The Circuit closes the adult competition calendar of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee for 2013.
The 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships take place from 5-11 April in Dubai, UAE, where 300 athletes from 50 countries are expected to compete for coveted world titles ahead of Rio 2016.