Friday,27 April, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1344, (11 - 17 May 2017)
Friday,27 April, 2018
Issue 1344, (11 - 17 May 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Pharaoh power

Egyptian powerlifters stood out at the 2017 Para Powerlifting World Cup in Hungary, Abeer Anwar reports

Gharib (l) celebrates after winning gold together with teammate Al-Elfat

In an all-Egyptian final at the 2017 Para Powerlifting World Cup in Eger, Hungary, Nadia Ali won the women’s under 86kg in a close contest with compatriot Rania Ali Morshedi. Morshedi managed three successful lifts, starting with 105kg, then progressing to 110kg and 111kg. But Ali’s second lift of 117kg gave the two-time Paralympic bronze medalist the victory. Brazil’s Marcia Menezes completed the top-three with a 105kg lift.

Gihan Gharib collected the second gold in the under 67kg lifting 300 kilogrammes.

Teammate Randa Mahmoud also won the gold medal in the women´s over 86kg after lifting 130kg in her third attempt. South Korea’s Hyun Jung Lee (111kg) took second and Brazil’s Tayana Medeiros (102kg) third.

The women’s under 73kg class was won by Rehab Wafa who managed three successful lifts, starting with 105kg, progressing to 110kg in the second round and finishing with 115kg in the third. Second was Moldova’s Larisa Marinenkova after lifting 88kg in the final round while third was Poland’s Beata Jankowska whose best lift was 83kg in the second round.

In the Egyptian men’s team, Mohamed Al-Elfat, a 2014 world title winner, kicked off the proceedings by winning the men’s under 80kg class. After opening with 190kg, the 37-year-old managed 200kg in the second round, before failing with 210kg in the third.

Gharib (l) celebrates after winning gold together with teammate Al-Elfat

The fight for second place was a thriller with Poland’s Poitr Szymeczek and Finland’s Harri Kauppila both lifting 160kg and 168kg in the first two rounds. In the third, both lifters could not manage 171kg. The Pole took second place on body weight whilst the Finn had to settle for third.

Egypt’s second medal came in the men’s up to 88kg class courtesy of three-time Paralympic champion Metwalli Mathana. In a close contest, the 42-year-old finished with a third round lift of 207kg, just one kilogramme ahead of Brazil’s Evanio Da Silva who had to settle for second. Azerbaijan’s Nurlan Babajanov was third after managing 186kg.

Taha Adel collected the third gold medal for the men’s team in the over 54kg.

“I am very happy with this great achievement as we participated with eight players and we collected eight medals, seven of which are gold,” Mohamed Ezzat, the national team’s powerlifting coach, said. “It is a miracle. Also, all those players qualified to the World Championship next September and most of them are world record holders so we will have opportunities to add more titles to Egypt.”

Uzbekistan’s Farhod Umirzakov set a new junior world record in the class with a lift of 164kg.

Paralympic powerlifting is an adaptation of the sport of powerlifting for athletes with disabilities. The only discipline in Paralympic powerlifting is the bench press.

The last major event before the 2017 World Para Powerlifting Championships will take place in Mexico City from 30 September-6 October with more than 360 powerlifters from 65 countries competing in the Juan de la Barrera Olympic Gymnasium.

The 2017 ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will be prior to the World Championship, which is only open to countries from that region, between 17-23 September.

Almaty, in Kazakhstan, and Eger will stage the 2019 and 2021 senior and junior World Para Powerlifting Championships respectively, as the sport confirms its major competition calendar for the next three years and begins the following Paralympic cycle.

The Almaty 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championships will be held at the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace. The junior competition will take place on 27 July before the seniors take to the stage from 28 July-3 August.

The Baluan Sholak Sports Palace hosted a successful Asian Championships in 2015, attracting nearly 200 athletes ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. In 2019, 380 powerlifters from 65 countries are expected to compete in the last major competition prior to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The Eger 2021 World Para Powerlifting Championships represent the culmination of several years work by the National Paralympic Committee. Since 2013 they have hosted a number of competitions in Hungary, including the 2015 European Championships and a World Cup in 2017 which is currently ongoing.

Another World Cup will be held in 2019, doubling up as a final test event for the 2021 World Championships that will be staged at the Kemény Ferenc Sports Hall. World Para Powerlifting is then expecting 400 athletes from 70 countries for the 2021 World Championships as more nations join the sport after Tokyo 2020.

The junior edition will be held on 23 October, followed by the seniors from 24-30 October.

“Hungary is a successful sporting nation. Its results have been proved at several Olympic and Paralympic Games since the beginning,” Laszlo Szabo, president of the Hungarian Paralympic Committee, said. “As our athletes have been hosted in so many countries, now it is time to reciprocate the kind hospitality and show that Hungary and the Hungarian Paralympic Committee are ready to welcome the world’s best athletes in any Para sport.

“I am so proud of the fact that the best powerlifters in the world will meet and will win the trophies of the 2017 World Cup and the 2021 World Championships in a Hungarian city, namely in Eger,” Szabo said.

World Para Powerlifting senior manager Jorge Moreno said: “We are really pleased to announce the hosts of the 2019 and 2021 World Championships, which completes our major international calendar for this Paralympic cycle and begins the next.

“It allows us to be able to work even closer with countries in developing the sport as they now have a clear pathway for their athletes into and after the next Paralympics,” Moreno said.

The last World Championships were held in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, in 2014 and featured 330 athletes from 59 countries.

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