The Mexican crowd is hoping to celebrate their first powerlifting gold as Amalia Perez’s quest for a third world title takes centre stage on day two (3 December) of competition at the World Para Powerlifting Championships in Mexico City.
The triple Paralympic champion - and Mexico’s biggest star at the 2017 Para Sport Festival - is the strong favourite for the women’s up to 55kg. Perez has not topped the podium at a World Championships since Busan 2006, having finished second at both Kuala Lumpur 2010 and Dubai 2014.
But with Nigeria’s Esther Oyema and China's Xiao Cuijian withdrawal from Mexico City 2017, there are no competitors left who can challenge Perez on paper. Her biggest opponent will be Ukraine’s 21-year-old Mariana Shevchuk, who finished fourth at Rio 2016 after lifting 107kg, 23kg less than Perez.
Another big name competing at the Juan de la Barrera Gymnasium will be three-time Paralympic champion Sherif Osman. The Egyptian has never lost at a major international competition, having also claimed gold at two World Championships in 2010 and 2014.
In Rio, Osman set a new world record of 211kg, almost four times his body weight! If there is not any unforeseen event, the 35-year-old will take another gold at Mexico City 2017.
The third powerlifting competition to be held on 3 December is the women's up to 41kg.
As Turkey's Nazmiye Muratli moved up one category to the women's up to 45kg, Rio 2016 silver medallist Zhe Cui appears as the favourite for gold. The Chinese will still face tough opposition from compatriot Jinyun Li and Cuba's Leidy Rodriguez.
More information on the World Para Powerlifting Championships, including live coverage, results and athlete profiles can be found on Mexico City 2017’s website.