Iranian world record holder Siamand Rahman, dubbed the world’s strongest Paralympian, will make his hotly anticipated 2016 debut at the IPC Powerlifting World Cup in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which gets underway on Monday (15 February).
All competitions from the Dubai Club for the Disabled will be shown live, alongside live results, at www.ipc-powerlifting.org with English commentary.
Rahman has not competed since he won gold at the 2015 Asian Open Championships in July 2015, where he set his eighth world record in 15 months in the men’s over 107kg.
He lifted 295kg, moving closer to his ultimate goal of 300kg which he will likely reserve to attempt at September’s Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The World Cup presents a chance for powerlifters to improve their place in the Paralympic rankings for Rio. As a result, more than 200 athletes from 42 countries will travel to Dubai, making it one of the largest competitions of the year outside of the Paralympics.
Other highlights from the men’s side include Egyptian Sherif Othman in the up to 59kg. Othman moved up to the weight category in 2015 and immediately made his mark, setting a new world record of 195kg.
His main rival, Great Britain’s world champion Ali Jawad, is still competing in the higher weight category of the up to 65kg after what he called a temporary move last year. Jawad will be in Dubai as part of his preparations for the Paralympic Games where fans hope he will face off against Othman.
Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and 2015 Americas champion Jainer Cantillo has also moved up a weight category. The Colombian will compete in the men’s up to 80kg, having surged to success last year in the lighter up to 72kg class.
That leaves an exciting clash between Egypt’s Mohamed Elelfat, the reigning world champion, and Iraq’s Rasool Mohsin, the Asian champion and world record holder in the up to 72kg.
In the men’s up to 107kg, Azerbaijani world record holder Elshan Huseynov returns after setting new bests at both the Asian and European Championships.
On the women’s side Ukrainian world champion Rayisa Toporkova will be hoping to improve after finishing off the up to 45kg podium at the Euros last year. Poland’s Justyna Kozdryk was amongst those to better Toporkova.
Another Ukrainian, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Paralympic champion Lidiia Soloviova, returned to winning form last season after a six-year drought. She was victorious at the European Championships in the up to 50kg and is in Dubai aiming to build on that.
On the junior side Ukraine’s Mariana Shevchuk, 19, secured bronze in the senior section at the Euros whilst also taking the overall junior title and world record in the women’s up to 55kg.
Egypt’s world champion Randa Mahmoud highlights the women’s up to 86kg, chasing the world record of 144kg that she unofficially equalled in 2015.
The IPC Powerlifting World Cup runs from 15-19 February and will be the penultimate opportunity for athletes to improve their place in the Paralympic rankings.
A full competition schedule is available at the IPC Powerlifting website.
The last chance will be at a World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, between 24-28 February.