Records tumble at Tbilisi World CupParalympic medallists Sodnompiljee and Widiasih send strong warning to opponents while Oliinyk grabs European record in Georgia 02 May 2023
If Tbilisi is the new spiritual home of World Para Powerlifting, it’s only fitting that more records should tumble there.
That’s exactly what happened last weekend, with the first World Cup of the year seeing continental records break across three days.
We also got to see mammoth performances too from the likes of Mongolia’s Enkhbayaryn Sodnompiljee and Indonesian Ni Nengah Widiasih. Here is everything you need to know from Tbilisi…
Leading the continent
Making history in your home nation. Ahmad Razm Azar had done it before in Tbilisi, coming last September at the European Open Championships when he took the European record. But it was held for a matter of seconds, as his great rival Donato Telesca took it back almost immediately. Not this time, though.
Razm Azar lifted 206kg with his second attempt in the men’s up to 80kg, before going five better to fully confirm his place in the history books.
History would be made on the women’s side too. Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Nataliia Oliinyk lifted 143kg in the women’s over 86kg category to grab a European record, and in the process put a marker down for the rest of the year.
Ukraine on top in teams
The strong contingent of Ukrainian powerlifters brought things to an almighty close, as they rounded their weekend off in style on the final day. With three team gold medals to content, Ukraine got the lot! First came success in the women’s team, finishing on 256.07 ahead of second placed Great Britain’s total of 253.82.
It would be swiftly followed by a win in the men’s event, topping a podium that also included Thailand and Saudi Arabia. And they rounded it off with a combined team score of 315.4 in the mixed to finish in front of Azerbaijan and bring the World Cup to a close.
The key takeaways
It looks ridiculous written down, but there is one fact worth repeating: Sodnompiljee is still very, very strong. Tokyo 2020’s 107kg gold medallist nailed a 240kg lift to finish far in front and maintain his vice-like grip on the category.
A World Cup star was born in the shape of Maria Markou Pikkoua. The Cypriot has high hopes of reaching Paris 2024, and winning her first World Cup gold medal will only add to that confidence. When PIkkoua isn’t training she’s teaching, and she certainly had the authority in the 61kg category, lifting 98kg to finish just ahead of Great Britain’s Rebecca Bedford.
Amidst those two performers, there were the consistent performances we know and are accustomed to as well.
Two-time Paralympic medallist Widiasih couldn’t make her lifts of 98kg, but her initial 95kg effort was enough for gold in the women’s up to 45kg category.
And there was a Georgian 1-2 to round off the individual events too. Akaki Jintcharadze didn’t make his first lift of 220 – so naturally, he opted to add a two on top of that and then lift it, which was enough for the win in the men’s over 107kg category. Giorgi Latsabidze completed all three of his lifts successfully, the final one a 217kg for the silver.
One of the next stops on the Para Powerlifting calendar will come in June for the Veracruz 2023 World Cup, taking place from 23-25. Later this year we will also return to Cairo for the World Cup, taking place from 3-5 November.
But we all have eyes on the World Championships, right? Taking place in Dubai this August, it’s going to be an exhilarating few months in the build-up.