Day two of the Eger 2019 Para Powerlifting World Cup on Friday saw athletes from both ends of the age spectrum show their class.
Veteran Chilean lifter Juan Carlos Garrido has completed a number of Lazarus-like comebacks already: he retired after the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, having been disqualified due to an admin error, but was inspired by his daughter to return to competing.
Garrido excelled and went to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with Chile fully expecting him to bring home a medal, but then failed in all three of his lifts. He’s bounced back once again, however: in 2018, Garrido secured gold at the Americas Open Championships, silver at the European Open Championships and bronze in the Asia-Oceania Open Championships.
And in the men’s up to 59kg in Eger, 39-year-old Garrido lifted a whopping 183kg (the second-best lift of year at this weight) to take the gold medal. Don’t bet against him finally getting that Paralympic prize at the grand old age of 40 in Tokyo.
Mariusz Tomczyk of Poland won silver with 160kg, while Juhani Kokko of Finland took bronze with 145kg.
At the other end of the age bracket, Italy’s 20-year-old Donato Telesca dazzled in the men’s up to 72kg class.
It was a thrilling contest, as three top competitors went head-to-head. In the second set of lifts, Telesca hauled up 174kg – smashing his own junior world record of 170kg.
Thongsa Marasri of Thailand promptly bested him, lifting 175kg – before Great Britain’s Nathaniel Wilding edged ahead with 176kg. But Telesca struck back thanks to a magnificent 179kg. Marasri failed to match him, but Wilding pulled off a 180kg push to take gold.
Telesca’s silver surely indicates that he’s a huge prospect for the future; Marasri had to settle for bronze.
Poland’s 31-year-old Malgorzata Halas-Koralewska completely dominated the women’s up to 61kg. She lifted 113kg, well ahead of compatriot Magdalena Kostka (76kg) and Thailand’s Hat Motnok.
Halas-Koralewska’s effort was the second best lift of the year in her category. The Pole, who was fourth at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, is performing at a higher level than ever – boding well for Tokyo.
Weight errors cost Gustin and Przywecka-Puziak
The men’s up to 65kg was a lesson in weight selection. The favourite, Malaysia’s junior world record holder Bonnie Bunyau Gustin, failed all three of his lifts at over 200kg, while Poland’s Marek Trkacz also had two fails at 177kg and one at 181kg.
This meant Grzegorz Lanzer, also of Poland, could grab the gold: he also had two fails, but eventually got 175kg aloft to take the title. Thailand’s Narong Kasanun (165kg) got a surprise silver, while Italy’s Giuseppe Colantuoni (125kg) – ranked 6th in the field – sealed an even more surprising bronze.
In the women’s up to 67kg, many would have tipped Poland’s Paulina Przywecka-Puziak for the win. But much like the men’s weight issues, she failed three times at 97kg. This let Morocco’s Nezha Binane win with a push of 78kg and Georgia’s Nino Sabashvili get the bronze thanks to a 40kg lift.
The action continues on Saturday with the women’s up to 73kg, and men’s up to 80kg, 88kg and 97kg.
Live results are available on World Para Powerlifting’s website.