Powerlifters have already entered the final stages of preparation ahead of the World Para Powerlifting Championships, set to kick off in Mexico City on 30 September.
Although Asia and Africa are the leading continents in terms of world and Paralympic champions, Europe has plenty of contenders for medals in Mexico.
Here are five of them:
Dimitrios Bakochristos (GRE): Nigeria’s Rio 2016 champion Roland Ezuruike will be the strong favourite for gold in the men’s up to 54kg, but Bakochristos still have good chances of claiming silver. The Greek had a successful start of 2017 by winning the national title after clearing the bar at 170kg, 8kg more than what he lifted at last year’s Paralympics.
Lidiia Soloviova (UKR): Will seek take another leap forward after taking silver at the latest edition of the Worlds in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2014. Two years later, she set a Paralympic record of 107kg on her way to gold in the women’s up to 50kg. Her main rival? Egyptian Rehab Ahmed, who lifted only 3kg less than her at Rio 2016.
Pavlos Mamalos (GRE): Has not lost a competition since 2015, when he finished third at the Asian Open Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Since then, Mamalos has won every event he participated in, including the Rio 2016 Games with a Paralympic record lift of 238kg in the men’s up to 107kg.
Nazmiye Muratli (TUR): Aims to seal her third successive world title after topping the podium at both Kuala Lumpur 2010 and Dubai 2014. But two-time Paralympic champion and world record holder Muratli will need to be at her very best to defeat China’s Zhe Cui, who lifted only 2kg less than her at Rio 2016.
Zoe Newson (GBR): With China’s Hu Dandan missing out Mexico City 2017 due to medical reasons, two-time Paralympic bronze medallist Newson has a unique opportunity to win her first world title. Nigeria’s Rio 2016 silver medallist Latifat Tijani will be her strongest opponent.
More information can be found on the Mexico City 2017 website.