Pyeongtaek 2022: Paralympic and world champions return for more glory

Asia Oceania Open Championships opens season of Regional Champs from 15-20 June in South Korea 13 Jun 2022
A man preparing to lift a bar on a bench press
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion Omar Qarada will be chasing the Asia Oceania title this week in South Korea
ⒸHiroki Nishioka for World Para Powerlifting
By Sean Cavanaugh | For World Para Powerlifting

The 2022 World Para Powerlifting Regional Championships season begins in South Korea this week. 

The Pyeongtaek 2022 Asia Oceania Open Championships will take place from 15-20 June. The event will showcase 231 athletes from 33 countries across the six days of competition. 

It will be the first of four Regional Championships in the 2022 Para powerlifting season followed by the Americas, Africa, and European Open Championships. 

The competition will be divided in to ten weight classes each in men’s women’s categories. Athletes compete in a single weight class. The event will end with the men’s, women’s, and mixed team events. 

Day one kicks off with two men’s weight classes, up to 49 kg and up to 97 kg. The -49 kg weight class features one of the best battles of the event. 

Omar Qarada of Jordan will look to continue his success in the up to 49kg class after winning gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and the Tbilisi 2021 World Championships. He will face a tough challenge from Le van Cong of Vietnam who holds the world record in the class and finished second behind Qarada in Tokyo and Tbilisi last year.

Day one continues with the first women’s lightweight classes, up to 41 kg and up to 45 kg. China’s world-record holder Guo Lingling will be the favourite in the -41 kg class after winning the world title in 2021. 

Days two, three and four

Day two features two men’s classes (up to 54kg and 59kg) and two women’s classes as well (up to 50kg and up to 55kg). 

Qi Yongkai of China beat the world-record holder Sherif Osman at Tokyo 2020 in the -59kg category and will be a name to watch in the same class in Pyeongtaek. 

The action heats up on day three with the heavyweight categories in the women’s competition (up to 86kg and over 86kg). Meanwhile the men’s classes of -65kg and -72kg will take the stage. 

Deng Xuemei of China lifted a best of 140kg to win the world title at Tbilisi 2021 to go along with her gold medal in the +86kg class from Tokyo 2020. 

Another Chinese star, Tan Yujiao takes her turn on day four in the up to 67kg class. Tan is a three-time world champion and two-time defending gold medalist at the Paralympics in her weight class. The 31-year-old will be seeking redemption after settling for silver at Tbilisi 2021. 

Days five and six

Day five brings the last day of individual events. The women’s classes of up to 73kg and up to 79kg will go, as will the middleweight and middle heavyweight men’s classes (up to 80kg and up to 88kg). 

Abdelkareem Mohmmad Khattab of Jordan set a world-record with a 250kg lift in an exciting extra-round, “power lift” to win the world title at Tbilisi 2021. Khattab also captured gold at Tokyo 2020 and will be favoured to win in the up to 88kg class in Pyeongtaek.  

The competition ends on day six with the men’s, women’s, and mixed team events. China figures to be the favourites in all three events, while Jordan and others should challenge in the men’s. 

Live results and entry lists can be found here

The Pyeongtaek 2022 Asia Oceania Open Championships will stream live on the Paralympics YouTube channel and the World Para Powerlifting Facebook page.