Day five of the World Para Powerlifting Senior Championships marks the competition's halfway point.
There is still a lot to lift for with three sets of medals up for grabs at the Hualing Ballroom on Thursday, 2 December.
The women's up to 73kg and 79kg categories are on the programme in the morning session, while the men's up to 72kg category will take the centre stage after the lunch break.
The day five action starts at 09:30 (local time) with two groups of athletes competing in the women's up to 73kg category.
Brazil’s Mariana D’Andrea leads the pack as the reigning Paralympic champion. Tbilisi 2021 will be her third World Championships appearance so far.
She is yet to win a medal after finishing fourth at the Nur-Sultan 2019 World Championships and not making a successful lift at the Mexico City 2017.
Although she does not have a senior World Championships medal to her name yet, D’Andrea won the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games title and first place at the Americas Open Championships in Bogota in 2018.
China’s Lili Xu will be D’Andrea’s main threat in the battle for gold. Xu is the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and Nur-Sultan 2019 Worlds silver medallist, as well as the world champion from Mexico City in 2017.
Souhad Ghazouani of France is another gold medal contender in Tbilisi. The world record holder in the women’s up to 73kg category (150kg) took the first place at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and Mexico City 2017 Worlds.
The bronze medal at Tokyo 2020 was her fifth medal in a row at the Paralympic Games.
Turkey’s Sibel Cam is also among the athletes to watch out for as the silver medallist from Nur-Sultan 2019.
Women’s up to 79kg category is the next on the schedule at 12:25 (local time) with Nigeria’s Bose Omolayo as the clear favourite to take home the gold medal.
She recently defended her Paralympic title with a 141kg-lift that was enough for a new Paralympic record. Omolayo attempted a ‘power lift’ setting the bar at 144kg but was not able to break the world record.
The 32-year-old Nigerian Para powerlifter is the reigning world and African champion.
Omolayo will battle it out for gold with the Russian Paralympic Committee’s (RPC) Vera Muratova and Ukraine’s Nataliia Oliinyk.
Muratova won bronze at Tokyo 2020 and broke the world record in June at the Dubai 2021 World Cup. Oliinyk took silver at her Paralympic debut in Tokyo. She lifted 133kg, 1kg better than Muratova.
RPC’s Para powerlifter was also the winner of the first season of the Online World Cup in 2020. The competition was created by World Para Powerlifting during the lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic giving athletes the chance to compete from their hometown.
The men’s up to 72kg category is the only one on the schedule in the afternoon starting at 15:40 (local time). There are four groups of athletes taking the stage in the category with Malaysia’s Bonnie Bunyau Gustin as the reigning double world champion and the main favourite to gold again.
The 22-year-old won first place at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics setting a new Paralympic record (228kg). He also went for the ‘power lift’ in an attempt to break his world record, but could not lift the 231kg-mark successfully.
Gustin broke the world record at the Dubai 2021 World Cup in June.
Egypt’s Attia Mahmoud will be Gustin’s main threat in fulfilling his goal of winning three straight Worls golds. Mahmoud won the silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 but is yet to finish on the podium at the World Championships stage.
China’s Hu Peng, the silver medallist from Nur-Sultan 2019, and Iran’s Nader Moradi, Paralympic and world champion from London 2012 and Mexico City 2017, should also be in contention for gold.
Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Micky Yule from Great Britain and Rio 2016 Paralympics silver medallist Rasool Mohsin from Iraq will compete in the men’s up to 80kg category, despite their Tokyo 2020 appearance in the lower, up to 72kg category.
Senegal’s debut appearance at the World Championships will happen in the men’s up to 72kg category. Kelountang Coly will represent the African country in Georgia.
The Tbilisi 2021 World Para Powerlifting Championships is live streamed on the World Para Powerlifting website and the World Para Powerlifting Facebook page.
Complete schedule and results are available at the Tbilisi 2021 microsite.