Mexico’s Amalia Perez was the star of the second day (3 December) of competition at the World Para Powerlifting Championships in Mexico City as she won the women's up to 55kg in front of roaring fans that never stopped chanting her name.
She did not suffer from the pressure of competing at home and delivered the performance everyone was expecting. Perez cleared the bar at 123kg, only 1kg more than 21-year-old Mariana Shevchuk, to seal her third world title. Despite her lack of experience on the international stage, the Ukrainian still proved to be a worthy opponent.
“It is a great satisfaction to perform like this, I was dreaming with this event because it was a huge opportunity Mexico was being given,” said Perez, who had not topped the podium at a World Championships since 2006 after only claiming silver at both Kuala Lumpur 2010 and Dubai 2014.
“The Latin American countries are working very hard and I dedicate this medal also to them.
“I am proud of being who I am. I believe this event can help open many doors to achieve further inclusion.”
Three-time Paralympic champion Sherif Osman did not disappoint and also claimed his third world title. The Egyptian lifted 205kg to secure another gold medal at a major international competition. He also tried to break his own world record of 211kg but failed in doing so.
“Every time you need to show that you can. This is my gold medal and can do it again at Tokyo 2020,” he said. “I remember in 2006 seeing the Egyptian powerlifting team competing and thinking ‘I want to be part of it.’ I tried several times and here I am today. You need to be positive. Nothing is impossible.”
Two Iranian powerlifters completed the podium, with Amir Jafari Arangeh (187kg) sealing silver and Seyed Yousefi (182kg) winning bronze.
Zhe Cui won China's first powerlifting gold in the women´s up to 41kg thanks to a 102kg lift. She then attempted to break Turkey's Nazmiye Muratli world record of 104kg but failed to lift 104.5kg.
Cuba's Leidy Rodriguez (85kg), who made her debut at a World Championships, followed her onto the podium. “This was my first World Championships and it feels fabulous to have reached the podium,” she said. “Now my goal is to reach the Paralympics in Tokyo.”
China's 26-year-old Jinyun Li (82kg) collected bronze.
More information on the World Para Powerlifting Championships, including live coverage, results and athlete profiles can be found on the Mexico City 2017’s website.