"It’s all about getting prepared for the Paralympics"
The world’s strongest Paralympian Siamand Rahman will be in action on the penultimate day of competition (19 July) at the World Para Powerlifting Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
Only the biggest upset in the history of the sport could prevent the Iranian from winning his third world title in the men’s over 107kg. It was actually at the World Championships in 2010 that he suffered his last defeat, finishing second.
Most recently, Rahman topped the podium at both the Asia-Oceania Open Championships and Asian Para Games.
The question arises whether he will be able to break his own world record of 310kg in Nur-Sultan or wait until the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
“Attending the competitions in Kazakhstan is very important to me. It is a prerequisite of Tokyo 2020, and that is my concern,” he said.
“I want to make sure I secure my Tokyo 2020 slot first in Kazakhstan – and then win a medal. It’s all about getting prepared for the Paralympics.”
The women’s over 86kg will arguably be the most exciting event at the World Championships.
Reigning Paralympic champion Josephine Orji holds the world record of 160kg and will therefore start as favourite.
However, the Nigerian returned this year after a three-year hiatus at the Lagos International Competition, finishing second behind compatriot and London 2012 gold medallist Loveline Obiji.
They will both face tough-opposition from Randa Mahmoud.
The Egyptian won gold in the up to 86kg at Rio 2016 but switched to the over 86kg ahead of the 2017 World Championships, taking the title as well.
The first mixed team events will be contested at the World Para Powerlifting Championships on the last day of competition (20 July).
Hosts Kazakhstan (with A, B and C teams), Brazil (A and B), Ukraine (A and B), Mexico, Iraq and Egypt will be the 10 participant teams.
It will be interesting to see Mexican multiple-Paralympic gold medallist Amalia Perez and Egyptian legend Sherif Osman competing against other big champions such as Ukraine´s Mariana Shevchuk, Brazil’s Evanio Da Silva, Kazakhstan’s Raushan Koishibayeva and Iraq’s Rasool Mohsin.
Each team will be represented by three powerlifters, with at least one of them being a female. It will be a separate event held on the last day of competition, with all 10 teams sharing a group.
The best four teams will advance into the semi-finals, with the top two then qualifying for the gold-medal match and the other two battling for bronze.
Each powerlifter makes one lift per stage, completing a maximum of three if her or his team advances into the following rounds.
Results are calculated using the AH (Haleczko) formula, which is a coefficient that enables the comparison of the results of lifers from different bodyweight categories.
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. https://www.paralympic.org/powerlifting