Ukrainian double Paralympic champion Lidiia Soloviova reclaimed the top spot on the podium on Wednesday (25 November), winning gold at the 2015 IPC Powerlifting European Open Championships in Eger, Hungary.
Soloviova settled for bronze at the London 2012 Paralympic Games after winning gold twice in a row at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. The 37-year-old also took silver from the 2014 World Championships but was back in winning form in the women’s up to 50kg at the Hotel Eger.
Soloviova was the only athlete to clear all her lifts, climaxing with 110kg in the third round for the victory.
China’s Shanshan Shi could not improve on her first round push of 107kg, taking Open silver behind the Ukrainian.
Egypt’s Rehab Ahmed (96kg) sealed Open bronze ahead of Hungary’s Katalin Mezei (55kg) who took the European silver.
Paralympic and world champion Lei Liu headlined a triple gold rush for China, in the men’s up to 72kg.
The 28-year-old showed his dominance with a 220kg best lift, before going for the world record attempt in the third round. Liu failed the 226kg haul but left happy with his Open gold.
Russia’s Sergei Sychev had more luck in breaking records, adding 1kg onto his previous regional best with 209kg to claim European gold.
Turkey’s Izzetin Kanat (195kg) sealed the European silver and Open Bronze and Greece’s Nikolaos Gkountanis (187kg) took Open bronze.
China’s Peng Hu (195kg) completed three good lifts to claim Open gold in the men’s up 65kg.
Hu, a bronze medallist from the London 2012 Paralympic Games, took the lead from Great Britain’s Ali Jawad in the final round.
Jawad, the men’s up to 59kg world champion who was temporarily competing in the higher weight category, could not match Hu’s final effort. However Jawad does take home the European gold and Open silver with his 193kg lift and was happy with his result.
“Can’t believe it,” Jawad said on Twitter. “I’m European champion! My best performance all year.”
Iran’s Hamzeh Mohammadi (190kg) claimed Open bronze. Poland’s Grzegorz Lanzer (178kg) secured European silver.
China’s Xuefeng Lu won his first major Championships medal with Open gold in the men’s up to 59kg.
Lu initially trailled teammate Quanxi Yang (184kg), who took the lead in the second round.
However Lu had more left in the tank in the final round, lifting 185kg to take the win ahead of his compatriot. Yang attempted but failed at 186kg to settle for Open silver.
Chile’s Juan Carlos Garrido (180kg) claimed Open bronze.
Russia’s Ildar Bedderdinov was the highest European finisher, pushing 178kg to claim gold.
Greece’s Paschalis Kouloumoglou (164kg) took European silver, whilst Poland’s Mariusz Tomczyk (160kg) was third.
Full results are available at the event website, along with live coverage and live results from each day.
Live updates are also being posted to @IPCPowerlifting and www.Facebook.com/IPCPowerlifting
Competition continues on Thursday (26 November) with the men’s up to 80kg and up to 88kg and women’s up to 55kg and up to 61kg.
A record 230 lifters from more than 40 countries are in Eger for the final regional Championships of 2015.
An Americas Open Championships was held in Mexico City in April and an Asian Open in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in July. The competition is also a Paralympic ranking competition for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.