Chinese powerlifters put on an impressive display on Friday (26 February) claiming four wins out of possible seven at the IPC Powerlifting World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Reigning world champion Xiaofei Gu highlighted China’s day, winning the men’s up to 80kg with a lift of 228kg.
Gu made an attempt on the world record with his last lift, but could not quite reach the 236.5kg mark.
Mexico’s Porfirio Arredondo took second place (198kg) and Nigeria’s Taiwo Tolu Lope finished third (197kg).
Gu’s teammate Jixiong Ye took victory in the men’s up to 88kg lifting 220kg.
The 22-year-old, who made his international debut at the 2015 IPC Powerlifting Asian Open Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, finished ahead of Mongolia’s Sodnompiljee Enkhbayar (210kg) and Nigeria’s Opeyemi Jegede (198kg).
Two more top places on the podium were claimed by China in the women’s events.
Ruifang Li lifted 135kg in the over 86kg category to beat Poland’s Marzena Zieba (132kg) by just 3kg. Dutchwoman Melaica Tuinfort took bronze with a lift of 127kg.
The podium replicated that of the 2015 IPC Powerlifting European Open Championships in Eger, Hungary, just three months ago.
China’s final win came from Lili Xu (128kg) in the women’s up to 79kg. Xu pulled a shock on Chinese Taipei’s reigning world and European Open champion Tzu-Hui Lin (115kg), who finished second.
Indonesia’s Siti Mahmudah Kasimin came in third (110kg).
Mexico’s powerlifters also had a great day on the bench, taking two wins.
London 2012 bronze medallist Perla Barcenas was the victor in the women’s up to 86kg.
Barcenas managed to lift 125kg after failing in her first attempt on 118kg. Brazil’s Marcia Cristina Menezes, the World Championships bronze medallist, finished second (116kg) beating China’s Fengmei Li into third (112kg).
On the men’s side, Mexico’s Jose de Jesus Castillo claimed first in the up to 97kg. He only needed one good lift of 222kg.
Nigeria’s reigning world champion Abdulazeez Ibrahim came in second (220kg), while Malaysia’s Yee Khie Jong finished third (212kg).
In the men’s combined category of up to 59kg, 62kg and 72kg, home favourite Wan Nur Azri Wan Azman topped the podium with 119.91kg. Ireland’s Jack Colbert took silver (104.2kg) and Saudia Arabia’s Saleh Alqahtani bronze (57.34kg).
Full results are available at www.paralympic.org/powerlifting/2016-world-cups.
Competition concludes in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (27 February) with the men’s up to 107kg and over 107kg.
Live coverage is being shown at www.ipc-powerlifting.org.
The competition is the final chance for powerlifters to improve their place in the Paralympic rankings for Rio 2016.