Kitakyushu 2018: 50 days to go

Iranian Majid Farzin seeks further glory at Asia-Oceania Championships 20 Jul 2018
By Adam Peleshaty | For the IPC

“I believe anyone standing on the podium at the world and Paralympic level is the best around the world regardless of his weight category.”

Iranian Siamand Rahman is always in the spotlight. Everyone expects great things from the world’s strongest powerlifter each time he faces the bar.

But, almost stealthily, his compatriot Majid Farzin also continues collecting trophies and setting records.

After winning the World Championships in Mexico City last year, Farzin is hoping to extend his winning streak twice on the regional level.

The 34-year-old will first compete in the Asia-Oceania Open Championships in Kitayashu, Japan, from 8-12 September. He will then fly to Jakarta, Indonesia, for the Asian Para Games between 7 and 12 October.

“After winning in Mexico City I felt happiness and pride,” said Farzin, who took his second Worlds gold last year. Ahead of Kitakyushu 2018, he says to be feeling “fantastic. All is going well, thank God.”

But Farzin knows he will have a strong opponent in China’s Gu Xiaofei. “He is my toughest rival.” It will be one of many Iranian-Chinese head-to-heads as those are the two most successful Asian countries in the sport.

Farzin beat Gu at London 2012 and Rio 2016, as well as at Mexico City 2017. But the Chinese emerged triumphant the only time they compete against each other at a regional event, at the 2014 Asian Para Games.

The two events will only be a prelude to the two more prestigious competitions held on his home continent: the 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan, and the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Farzin will attempt to equal Egypt’s Sherif Osman as the only man to win three Paralympic gold medals in powerlifting.

“I believe anyone standing on the podium at the world and Paralympic level is the best around the world regardless of his weight category,” said Farzin, who holds a world record of 240kg in the men’s up to 80kg.

“(My goals are tho) Have my best performance and hopefully break a record in the Games, God willing.”

The Asia-Oceania Open Championships will take place in Kitakyushu, Japan, between 8 and 12 September.