Mexico City 2017: The Mexico Moment13.12.2017
Jose de Jesus Castillo Castillo excels in front of ecstatic home fans at World Championships
Home fans had many reasons to celebrate at the World Para Powerlifting and Para Swimming in Mexico City, from 2-8 December, as local athletes reached the podium multiple times.
Everyone was expecting powerlifting star and three-time Paralympic champion Amalia Perez to climb onto the first step of the podium in the women’s up to 55kg, but not many would have bet that Rio 2016 bronze medallist Jose de Jesus Castillo Castillo would also end with gold hanging around his neck.
The 33-year-old had never won a major international competition, but motivated by the home fans he delivered the performance of his life in a thrilling men’s up to 107kg event.
After the first round, Castillo Castillo (228kg) was second to Mongolia’s Sodnompiljee Enkhbayar (230kg) and closely ahead of Azerbaijan’s Elshan Huseynov (227kg) and Ukraine’s Anton Kriukov (225kg).
Despite progressing to 233kg, Castillo Castillo moved back one place following the second round as Kriukov lifted 235kg and Enkhbayar, who has a lower body weight, cleared the bar at 233kg.
But the Mexican made the most of the last opportunity he had to top the podium in the last round by achieving a winning-lift of 236kg to finish ahead of Enkhbayar, who cleared the bar at 235kg, and Kriukov, who failed to lift 237kg. The local fans were ecstatic.
“There's nothing like winning the gold medal at a World Championships in your country in front of your family,” said Castillo Castillo.
“Since Mexico was announced the host country I thought about this moment. It was a really intense competition and I want to thank my coach for the strategy that made this gold medal possible.”