The regional season of para powerlifting wraps up with the Cairo 2022 African Open Championships.
The event will span across 27-30 October in Cairo, Egypt. It will be the biggest African Championships in history and the biggest powerlifting competition hosted on Egyptian soil. It also marks the first time the event will be open to participants beyond the continent. Para powerlifting is the only Para sport with an African Championships.
Osman going for gold
The event will showcase 166 athletes (104 male and 62 female lifters) from 27 countries in the region across the four days of competition.
The competition will be divided in to ten weight classes each in men’s and women’s categories. Athletes compete in a single weight class. The event will end with the men’s, women’s, and mixed team events.
The host nation is home to one of the sport’s greatest athletes, Sherif Osman.
The Egyptian legend holds world records in two weight categories, the only male athlete to currently claim this feat. Osman set the record mark at 205kg in the men’s up to 54kg class and at 211kg in the up to 59kg class.
Osman will go for gold in the up to 59kg class this year in Cairo. The 40-year-old veteran began powerlifting at age 18 and has racked up the honors in his long career. Osman aka ‘The Chief’ will look to add to his crowded trophy room that includes three Paralympic golds and a silver since 2008.
The five-time world champion will try to bring glory to his home nation as the favorite in his class at the African Championships.
Big names and record holders are littered throughout the field.
Osman headlines day one that also includes two women’s events and two more men’s weight classes. Ten lifters in the women’s up to 50kg will try to break the African and world record of 131kg, set by Esther Oyema of Nigeria.
Nigerians leading the pack
The competition rolls on with six more weight classes on day two. Veteran Folashade Oluwafemiayo of Nigeria will be the favorite in the women’s up to 86kg class after setting the world record of 155kg at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Gold will be up for grabs on day two in the men’s up to 65kg class as well.
The individual events keep coming on day three with four women’s and two men’s weight classes. Egyptians Hany Abdelhady and Abdelbaset Mousa will try to win on home soil in the men’s up to 97kg class.
Nigerian Lucy Ejike will attempt to set a new world record mark in the women’s up to 61kg class. Her world-best of 142kg was set at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. 2021 World champion Bose Omolayo from Nigeria will lead the field in the women’s up to 79kg class.
The event wraps up on Day four. The action begins with three wide-open men’s events.
The competition ends with the men’s, women’s, and mixed team events. Egypt and Nigeria should be the teams to watch.
Live results and entry lists can be found here.
The Cairo 2022 African Open Championships will stream live on the Paralympics YouTube channel and the World Para Powerlifting Facebook page.