Mexican multiple Paralympic champion Amalia Perez targets her fourth World Para Powerlifting Championships, while Raushan Koishibayeva is the one home fans in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, are waiting for over days three and four of the competition.
The 45-year-old Perez has proven she is as strong as always with victories at the 2018 Asia-Oceania and Americas Open Championships, both in the women’s up to 61kg.
But Perez is back now to the up to 55kg, hoping to extend her winning-success.
She will face tough opposition from Ukrainian Mariana Shevchuk, who set a new world record of 131kg at the 2019 Fazza World Cup. Before that, she had also claimed the European Open Championships in France in 2018.
Also on day three (15 July), few doubt Nigeria’s Paralympic and world champion Paul Kehinde will come out on top once more.
Having started competing in 2011, the men's up to 65kg strongman only suffered the first defeat in his career when he took silver in the lightweight category at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Kehinde quickly bounced back, taking gold at the African Championships in Algiers some months later. Chinese Liu Lei and Algeria´s Hocine Bettir will still try to challenge him.
Nigeria are hoping of landing a second gold in the day through women´s up to 61kg legend Lucy Ejike.
In 2018, the three-time Paralympic champion secured gold at the African Championships in Algiers, and silver in the women’s lightweight at the Commonwealth Games.
A year before, she claimed gold in her World Championship debut in Mexico City.
If she competes to the maximum of her abilities, she will most likely add another medal to her crowded trophy cabinet.
Day 4 preview
Veteran Koishibayeva will take part in the women’s up to 67kg after a successful 2018 which saw her ending second at both the Asia-Oceania Open and the Asian Para Games.
The Paralympic silver medallist seeks to outdo her performance from the 2017 World Championships, where she ended fifth.
But Tan Yujiao will be the strong favourite for gold. The Chinese is the reigning Paralympic and world champion, as well as the world record holder (140.5kg).
Iran’s Nader Moradi is confident he can repeat his gold medal-performance in the men´s up to 72kg from Mexico City 2017 considering compatriot and world record holder Roohallah Rostami switched to the up to 80kg and China’s Paralympic champion Liu Lei moved down to the up to 65kg.
Iraq´s Rio 2016 silver medallist Rasool Mohsin will be another powerlifter to look out for, same as China’s Hu Peng.
As Paralympic and world champion Majid Farzin will not be attending the 2019 Worlds, two powerlifters emerge as candidates for gold in the men’s up to 80kg.
One is Rostami, who will be making his debut in the category after winning gold in the up to 72kg at the Asian Para Games with a 229kg world record lift.
The other is China’s Gu Xiaofei, who ended second at Rio 2016 and Mexico City 2017 behind Farzin and sees the option to finally climb onto the first step of the podium.
The Nur-Sultan 2019 World Championships will take place from 12 to 20 July and you can watch it live on World Para Powerlifting website.