Mexico City 2017: Da Silva wants to make history22.06.2017
Brazil’s first powerlifting Paralympic medallist is optimistic about Worlds.
“I am always trying hard to keep learning, improving and I want to be on the podium again in Mexico City.”
One year later, the Brazilian won his first major competition when he took gold at the Parapan American Games in Toronto, Canada, a good omen ahead of Rio 2016.
Then at Latin America’s first Paralympics, Da Silva became Brazil’s first powerlifter to reach the podium, winning silver in the men’s up to 88kg.
With exactly 100 days to go until the World Championships in Mexico City, the 32-year-old is looking into the future with optimism.
“I am always trying hard to keep learning, improving and I want to be on the podium again in Mexico City,” he said. “I consider it my main goal since I do not have a Worlds medal yet.
“I always expect to deliver the best possible performance because I know how hard I train. I am really focused on doing my best in order to be on the podium.”
Da Silva achieved her personal best on home soil in Rio, when he lifted 210kg to win the coveted Paralympic silver.
“Winning Brazil's first medal was like a dream coming true, not just for me, but for all the athletes who tried,” he said. “Besides, winning this medal was and still is fundamental to spread the sport in Brazil.”
However, he will need to outdo that performance if he is hoping to defeat UAE’s Paralympic champion Mohammed Khalaf, who cleared the bar at 220kg in Rio.
Over the last three years, Da Silva changed categories from the up to 88kg to the up to 80kg and back to the former, which is another feat in itself.
“[Changing my body weight] is definitely an issue, because it is tough for me to gain weight,” he explained. “It is hard to compete, especially in the up to 88kg, because I have to be in similar shape to athletes who are used to that weight. I have to be close to the weight limit in order to have a better performance.”
The 2017 World Para Powerlifting Championships will take place in Mexico City from 30 September-6 October, with around 360 powerlifters from 65 countries competing in the Juan de la Barrera Olympic Gymnasium.