"I have an agenda reaching records above 350kg and I intend to set the historic record of 400 kg”
On the final day of powerlifting at the ExCeL (5 September), Iran’s Siamand Rahman is expected to become the first powerlifter to lift over 300kg in competition.
In the day’s opening event, Mohamed Eldib could clinch another powerlifting gold medal for Egypt. The 33-year-old was 5kg better than his nearest competitor in qualification for the Games.
The world record holder won silver at the 2010 World Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and will be hoping to go one better in London.
Qi Dong will likely seal the silver medal. The Chinese has the potential to challenge Eldib and could provide an upset. Dong is the reigning Paralympic champion in the category, a title which he will be keen to retain.
The battle for the bronze medal will see Nigeria’s Obioma Aligekwe and Iran’s Ali Sadeghzadehsalmani fight it out for the right to finish on the podium. The pair qualified within a kilogram of each other so victory could be down to the smallest of margins.
Aligekwe won the silver medal in the category at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games and certainly has the quality to medal once again in London.
Nigeria’s Grace Anozie is setting her sights on victory in the day’s second event.
“My aim is for gold and a new Paralympic record, by the special grace of God,” she said.
The 35-year-old also took the time to praise the Games in London.
“This is one of the best Paralympic Games I have been to, and I have been to four. Everything about the Games is perfect, everything is complete.
“I am in good form and have been training two years and more for this,” she continued.
Heba Ahmed will be looking to add to Egypt’s impressive medal haul. The 31-year-old is not anticipated to challenge Anozie for gold but by the same token, is not likely to be challenged for the silver.
Mexico’s Perla Barcenas will contest the bronze medal with Mary Stack of the United States. The North American duel will be its own competition within a well contested category.
The day’s final event sees Siamand Rahman gunning for glory in the men’s +100kg category, the final powerlifting event of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Rahman should cruise through to win the gold medal, as long as he manages to complete at least one successful lift. His personal challenge, though, is to break his own world record and create history in the process by lifting over 300kg.
"I have an agenda reaching records above 350kg and I intend to set the historic record of 400 kg,” he said.
His coach, Ali Asghar, is happy that Rahman will deliver the goods.
He said: “He is the strongest disabled man in the world. We are very confident that he will win.”
A new 50kg weight disc has been designed specifically for the Games in London, particularly with Rahman in mind.
Jon Amos, chairman of Sport and Technical Committee for IPC Powerlifting, said: "We have introduced them for the bigger players because, otherwise, the bar is not going to be safe (the weights would be too wide for the spotters).”
Iraq’s Faris Al-Ajeeli should be comfortable for the silver medal. He lifted 25kg more than his nearest challenger, Egypt’s Mohamed Sabet, in qualification.
Australia’s Darren Gardiner will challenge alongside Sabet for the bronze in what is expected to be an incredible category.