After winning silver at Beijing 2008 and bronze at London 2012, Greek powerlifter Pavlos Mamalos is determined to take another leap forward and finally claim Paralympic gold at Rio 2016.
The 45-year-old won his first title two years ago, when he topped the podium at the World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and has since then shown outstanding form.
In 2015, Mamalos went on to seal bronze at the Asian Open Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and gold at the European Open Championships in Eger, Hungary.
Now, he is seeking to build on this momentum ahead of September´s Paralympic Games.
“I have a silver and a bronze medal from the Beijing and the London Paralympics and I would really like to add a gold now to my collection, in Rio,” said Mamalos.
He is hoping to lift more weight than ever before in his career, but remains cautious. Mamalos´ best career lift was in Dubai in 2012, when he hauled 244kg.
“I am not sure if I will be able to do so, it will depend on how I am feeling on the day of the competition,” he said.
Azerbaijan´s Elshan Huseynov, who holds the world record of 243kg in the up to 107kg, and Iran´s two-time Paralympic medallist Ali Sadeghzadeh will be his main rivals in Rio.
“They are definitely my strongest opponents. We are, without any doubt, the world’s three best powerlifters of this class at the moment,” said Mamalos.
“In September we will see who the best is.”
Even though is clear that winning gold is his main aim, the Greek powerlifter wants to focus on performing the best he can.
“I want to have my mind clear the day I compete, do it well and try to lift as much as I can,” he said.
“Hopefully, it will be a good day for me and I will try to reach the best position I can. Whatever comes after a fair and good competition will be satisfying enough for me.”
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.
Visa International is the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Paralympic Games.