Mariana Shevchuk has been chosen as ‘Best Powerlifter of 2018’ by public vote in a close contest ahead of Jhon Castaneda, Siamand Rahman and Sherif Osman.
The 22-year-old Ukrainian broke the women's up to 55kg world record to win gold at the Berck-sur-Mer 2018 European Open Championships.
The vote was carried out on World Para Powerlifting’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with Shevchuk collecting the most combined votes across all social media pages.
"I am extremely happy for having won this award," she said. "It is inspiring and motivating for me and I am really grateful for all those who supported and voted for me. I did not expect to win as there were incredible athletes nominated and all of them deserved to win. I wish them the best and hope they achieve their future goals.
"I am prearing for the 2019 World Championships in Astana. I do not want to do any prediction but will work hard."
Castaneda received massive support from his Colombian fans to end in second place. The 38-year-old won the men’s over 107kg continental title with an Americas record lift of 212kg on home soil in Bogota.
Iran’s Siamand Rahman ended third overall. The world’s strongest Paralympian comfortably won the men's over 107kg with a 285kg lift at the 2018 Asia-Oceania Championships.
Egypt’s Sherif Osman, who successfully defended the continental title in Algeria with a 206kg lift in the men's up to 59kg, finished fourth.