With less than one month to go until the Tbilisi 2021 World Championships, World Para Powerlifting will be looking at the stars who will take the stage in Georgia following their performances at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in August.
The World Championships starts on 27 November with a one-day Junior Worlds and runs until 6 December when the Mixed Team Event takes place.
From Tokyo to Tbilisi will feature 10 of the best athletes to watch at the 2021 Worlds. The series kicks off with one of the biggest names from the most successful country at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Lingling Guo, China
China’s Lingling Guo had a memorable Paralympic debut in Japan. The 31-year-old came to the Tokyo International Forum as the back-to-back world champion and a clear favourite to take the gold medal in the women’s up to 41kg category.
She succeeded in outstanding fashion breaking the world and Paralympic record on the way.
Guo opened her Paralympic career with a successful starting lift of 105kg followed by a failed attempt at 108kg before she nailed it on the third.
The Chinese athlete then requested a ‘power-lift’ to cement a place in Para powerlifting history and break the world record with 109kg as celebrations erupted amongst the Chinese team at the Tokyo International Forum.
Golden birthday gift
Guo won her first Paralympic medal just one day after her 31st birthday which made the celebration even more special.
“I received lots of messages from my friends wishing me happy birthday and good luck in the competition. I am happy I was able to win the gold for all of them,” said the Chinese athlete who faced many obstacles on the way to Paralympic glory.
“During the pandemic, I was unable to go to see my family and friends, and I was living at the training stadium. That was the most challenging.”
Even though she won the gold medal with ease, Guo still finds room for improvement leading up to Tbilisi 2021.
“I am not happy I was not able to complete my second lift. There are still improvements to make. My goal is to continue to win medals, especially gold medals.”
Major championships results
Lingling Guo made her dream international debut at the Mexico City 2017 World Para Powerlifting Championships winning a gold medal.
That success was followed by first places at the Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Asia-Oceania Open Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan both in 2018.
A year later Guo successfully defended her world title at the Nur-Sultan 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championships.
Competition day in Tbilisi
Guo will take on the stage in Tbilisi on Sunday, 28 November, the first day of the World Para Powerlifting Senior Championships.
The competition starts at 16:30 (local time) with both Ni Nengah Widiasih from Indonesia and Clara Fuentes from Venezuela going up against Guo.
Widiasih won silver with Fuentes taking the bronze medal in the women’s up to 41kg category at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.