“All my rivals are strong but I need to concentrate on myself.”
Juan Carlos Garrido took time off from competition after participating in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games but is now back on track and following a tough training regime ahead of the Mexico City 2017 World Para Powerlifting Championships.
The Chilean is hoping to improve on his fifth place in the men’s up to 59kg at the last edition of the Worlds in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2014, where he lifted 172kg.
“I am very much looking forward to the World Championships in Mexico City and am training very hard because I want to deliver an excellent performance,” said two-time Paralympian Garrido.
“My goals for the Worlds are very clear. I seek to give the best of me and fight to finish in an even better position that at the last edition.”
The 37-year-old achieved his personal best at a World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last year, when he lifted nothing less than 186kg. If he manages to repeat such feat, he will probably not just meet his objectives but even fight for a medal. China’s Quanxi Yang claimed bronze at last year’s Paralympics thanks to a 176kg lift.
Egypt’s Paralympic champion and world record holder Sherif Osman and Great Britain’s Rio 2016 silver medallist Ali Jawad dominate in the sport. And Parapan American reigning champion Garrido will need them to perform way below their expectations to beat them.
But the Chilean believes he should not shift his focus to his opponents. “All my rivals are strong but I need to concentrate on myself,” he said.
“I must lift as much weigh as I can, then I will see. Every athlete dreams of winning gold or at least reaching the podium. If I perform well, I will have my chances.
“I need to improve my technique a lot. On the other hand, I have plenty of experience to face this important competition.”
Despite many other important competitions such as the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games are getting closer, Garrido does not want to plan ahead.
“I have a World Championships soon. Then I will see what comes next, but of course I would like to compete in both,” he said.