Tbilisi will host its first-ever World Para Powerlifting World Cup from Thursday to Sunday (20 to 23 May), with around 90 athletes from 25 nations representing Asia, Europe and the Americas taking centre stage in the Georgian capital.
It will be the fourth World Cup of the season after Bogota, Colombia and Manchester, Great Britain in March, followed by Thailand’s capital Bangkok in early May.
Day one - Thursday
The opening day in Tblisi will see four women's categories in action with one of the stars of the competition in one of them.
Ukraine’s reigning world champion Mariana Shevchuk is going to fight for gold against Turkey’s Besra Duman, bronze medallist from the Berck-sur-Mer 2018 Europeans and the Mexico City 2017 World Championships, in the women’s up to 55kg.
Shevchuk was in brilliant form at the Manchester 2021 World Cup when she broke the world record with a 132kg-lift.
Two-time Paralympic bronze medallist Zoe Newson of Great Britain is another podium favourite on day one in the women’s up to 41kg category.
There will be two men’s categories in contention on Thursday. Azerbaijan’s Parvin Mammadov is leading the way in the men’s up to 49kg as the reigning European champion from Berck-Sur-Mer.
In the up to 65kg the favourite comes from South America. It is Chile’s Jorge Carinao, a former Parapan American Games winner.
Day two - Friday
One of Friday’s highlights will be the men’s up to 59kg as Great Britain’s former world champion and Rio Paralympics silver medallist Ali Jawad faces Chile’s Juan Carlos Garrido.
Garrido is the reigning Parapan American Games champion from Lima 2019, as well as the bronze medallist from the last World Championships. He also won the inaugural World Cup of the season in Bogota.
Italy’s world junior champion Donato Telesca takes on the up to 72kg as a favourite following his gold medal in the Bogota World Cup. Brazil’s Bruno Carra is another Lima 2019 champion competing in Tbilisi in the men’s up to 54kg.
In the women’s categories, the up to 73kg will have Turkey’s reigning European champion and Nur-Sultan 2019 silver medallist Sibel Cam on stage.
Brazilian Mariana D’Andrea will lead the way in the women’s up to 73kg as the Lima 2019 Parapan American champion.
Day three - Saturday
Eight athletes are set to represent hosts Georgia in the four-day competition on home soil. Local star Iago Gorgodze will be going for gold on Saturday in the men’s over 107kg.
Born in Tbilisi, the 2018 European Championships silver medallist won the World Cup in Manchester and finished second in Bogota and Bangkok this year. His main rival will be Colombia’s Jhon Castaneda, who won the World Cup in Bogota.
Azerbaijan’s European champion Elshan Huseynov is the star in the men’s up to 107kg category.
The women’s events taking place on Saturday will see Great Britain’s Louise Sugden as the name to beat in the up to 86kg and Brazil’s Tatyana Medeiros in the over 86kg.
Day four - Sunday
Ahmad Razm Azar is Georgia’s gold medal hope in the closing day in the men’s up to 80k. He comes to Tbilisi with three World Cup medals to his name this year, after his triumph in Manchester and silver in Bogota and Bangkok.
Greece’s European champion from Berck-Sur-Mer 2018 Gkremislav Moysiadis will be his main opponent on Sunday’s event.
Nur-Sultan 2019 bronze medallist Fabio Torres is the one to watch in the World Cup’s final event, the men’s up to 97kg.
The Tbilisi 2021 World Cup will be shown live on the World Para Powerlifting website and the World Para Powerlifting Facebook page.
Complete results from the Tbilisi 2021 World Cup will be available here.