Powerlifting and sitting volleyball are two of the 12 sports featured in the programme of the fourth Youth Parapan American Games, set to take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 20-25 March.
The event will feature 15-20 year old athletes from around 10 countries, who are expected to compete across 10 men’s and 10 women’s events.
Argentina’s Rodrigo Villamarin claimed silver in the men’s up to 49kg at the latest edition of the Youth Parapans in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2013, and is hoping to take one step forward in Sao Paulo and take gold.
“It would be very important for me to win the title, but I also have to enjoy this event. I learned many things whilst competing in Buenos Aires which help me improve in my career,” he said.
The platform with the competition bench has been set up between the judo and table tennis areas at the Brazilian Paralympic Centre. The structure is temporary and will remain until the end of Sao Paulo 2017.
Usually, this area of the Training Centre is used for boccia training. During the Games, up to 104 spectators will be able to watch the powerlifting events from the arena’s grandstand.
Venezuela led the sport’s medals table at Buenos Aires 2013 after winning two golds, one silver and one bronze. Argentina (one gold and one silver) and Brazil (one gold and three bronzes) completed the top-three.
Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Venezuela will face each other twice in a round-robin format, in the men’s event. The top two teams will play again in the final, whilst the other two will compete for the bronze.
Brazil, the USA and Venezuela will take part in the women’s tournament. The best two from the group stage will qualify for the gold-medal match.
Teams will be made up of three athletes and one substitute, aged 14-20 years old, unlike Paralympic sitting volleyball where each team has six players on the court.
The arena used for the sitting volleyball event, located at the Brazilian Paralympic Centre, also plays host to the boccia and wheelchair basketball tournaments.
The gymnasium is air-conditioned and the courts are made of hardwood, following the official measurements for the sport. It can also accommodate up to 66 people.
Around 900 athletes, aged 12-20 years old, from 20 countries are expected to participate in Sao Paulo, with 12 sports being contested: athletics, boccia, football 5, football 7, goalball, judo, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.
Buenos Aires 2013 attracted more than 600 athletes from 16 countries, who competed across 10 sports. Brazil topped the medal table and 15 countries reached the podium at least once.
Barquisimeto, Venezuela, staged the inaugural edition in 2005, with athletes from 10 countries competing, whilst a total of 14 countries attended the event in Bogota, Colombia, in 2009.
For more information, visit Sao Paulo 2017’s website.