Mexico City 2017: Jose Castillo Castillo seeks gold on home soil09.11.2017
Powerlifter moves up one category in pursuit of his first world title
Jose Castillo Castillo is most determined than ever to climb to the top of the podium at the World Para Powerlifting Championships as he will compete in front of his home crowd in Mexico City, from 2-8 December.
The last time the 33-year-old took part in an international competition in his country was in 2015, when he took gold at the Americas Open Championships. Now he wants to repeat that performance on an even bigger stage.
“I have been dreaming of winning gold at home. All athletes aim to reach the top of their sport at one point in their careers,” said Castillo Castillo. “That is my goal. I hope I have the opportunity to climb onto the first step of the podium and sing the national anthem with my people.”
“I have been dreaming of winning gold at home. All athletes aim to reach the top of their sport at one point in their careers. That is my goal. I hope I have the opportunity to climb onto the first step of the podium and sing the national anthem with my people.”
Last year, the Mexican won bronze in the men’s up to 97kg at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games thanks to a 229kg lift, behind Egypt’s Mohamed Eldib (237kg) and China’s Qi Dong (233kg).
For this year’s Worlds, Castillo Castillo has decided to move up one category to the up to 107kg as he feels he can have more chances of topping the podium.
Greece’s Paralympic champion Pavlos Mamalos will not compete, so Egypt’s Mohamed Ahmed, who lifted 233kg in Rio to win silver, and Iran’s Ali Sadeghzadehsalmani, who took Paralympic bronze after lifting 226kg, will be his strongest opponents.
“You cannot underestimate any of your rivals as they all train as hard as yourself, have a great competitive level and anything can happen,” said Castillo Castillo. “We have known each other for years.
“But competing at home is decidedly different. We had the 1999 and 2011 Parapan American Games and the Americas Open in 2015, but this will be the first World Championships.
“It will be really nice to have your friends and family cheering for you. I need to believe in myself and try [to] make them happy. It will be so motivating.”
Mexico City has gone through some difficult weeks following the devastating earthquake on 19 September that killed hundreds and caused major infrastructural damage.
“I live in Guadalajara and saw what happened on TV. It was horrible, a very complicated and sad situation,” added Castillo Castillo. “Having the World Championships was already important, but having them after everything we went through makes them special.
“We want to show again we are a strong and united country. As Para athletes, we have the opportunity to give our people some joy.”
“I want to thank the entire world for their immediate response,” he said.
More information is available on Mexico City 2017’s website.