Lifters arrive in Mexico City for Americas Open Championships

The IPC Powerlifting Americas Open Championships, which begin on Sunday, will attract 120 athletes from 25 countries. 24 Apr 2015
Amalia Perez Ones to Watch main picture

Amalia Perez is one of the most prolific Mexican Paralympians, with a gold medal from London 2012 and Beijing 2008.

ⒸGetty Images

"I am looking for a positive result and to be on top of the medals, and yes why not look for a world record too."

Mexico’s Paralympic and world champion Amalia Perez has spoken of her excitement and determination to impress at her home IPC Powerlifting Americas Championships from Sunday (26 April), as 120 lifters from 25 countries arrive in Mexico City for the first ever Americas Championships.

The event will be shown live at and Perez is amongst nearly 40 athletes representing the host country.

“I am very proud to be part of the national team and to compete for the first time in an IPC Powerlifting event in Mexico” the 37-year-old, who will compete in the women’s up to 61kg on Monday (27 April), said. “Being in my home country I am very excited to feel the passion and enthusiasm from all the spectators.

“My objective for every competition is always to work really hard every day. I am looking for a positive result and to be on top of the medals, and yes why not look for a world record too. I have had a short training period as I received an injury back in December, however I am ready and with the best attitude and energy to compete in my country, and it is good to show that Mexico has the capacity to host big events.”

Monday’s men’s up to 59kg could also be an exciting affair, as Great Britain’s world champion Ali Jawad will attempt to measure where he stands against the absent Egyptian Sherif Othman. Othman moved up to Jawad’s weight category for 2015 and took his world record in March.

Chile’s Juan Carlos Garrido is one of Jawad’s main competitors, and is on his own trajectory in preparation for August's Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games. Having returned from retirement four years ago to win bronze at the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games, Garrido remains one of the region’s strongest powerlifters.

Mexico is well represented in the women’s events as Laura Cerero, a bronze medallist from the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships, will compete in the women’s up to 45kg on the opening day of Mexico City 2015 on Sunday (26 April).

Seven-time world and Paralympic medallist Perla Barcenas will also represent her country in the women’s up to 79kg, going head-to-head with Brazil’s 2014 Worlds bronze medallist Marcia Menezes on Tuesday (28 April).

Jose de Jesus Castillo, a bronze medallist from last year’s World Championships in the men’s up to 88kg, has moved to the up to 97kg for his home Americas Open and will lift on the final day of competition on Wednesday (29 April).

Mexico City 2015 acts as a key qualification stop for Toronto 2015 and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, and is the first IPC Powerlifting regional Championships to be held in the Americas.

Competition starts every day at 9.30am (CDT) and will be shown live at with Spanish and English commentary. A full competition schedule and live results are also available at the event website.