Rio 2016 Preview: Powerlifting

Sport: Powerlifting

Events: 20 (10 men, 10 women)

Classification: Athletes in powerlifting have a physical impairment affecting their legs or hips and are separated based on weight. Most weight categories are new to the 2016 Paralympic Games after an adjustment following London 2012

Venue: Riocentro

Athlete Quota: 180 (100 men, 80 women)

International Federation: International Paralympic Committee (IPC) – Powerlifting

Preview

In the men’s 49kg category it seems to be a two horse race between Cong Le of Vietnam and Omar Qarada of Jordan, the only two men to have lifted above 175kg. Another Vietnamese lifter is the favorite in the men’s 54kg category having lifted 180kg in February while Dimitros Bakochristos of Greece is close behind with 177kg.

For the men’s 59kg category it is all about Sherif Osman, the only lifter in the category to have lifted above 200kg, with 210kg in Dubai in February. The men’s 65kg category is tight, the tightest in the Games, with any of the top six all possible of winning medals. That category is led by two Chinese lifters with Peng Hu top with 201kg and Xuefeng Lu with 196kg.

In the 72kg category, Lei Liu seems the clear favorite for gold but there are three men close behind him trying to fight for medals. The 80kg has one very clear favorite, Majid Farzin of Iran who has lifted 236kg this year, with Xiafei Gu the only probable challenger for the title.

The men’s 88kg category seems to be a race between four looking to win the three medals, with Seyedhamed Solhipouravanji of Iran leading the way with a 232kg lift, but Egyptian Hany Abdelhady is just one kilogram behind. The Men’s 97kg has a clear leader in Mohamed Eldib who managed a 243kg lift in Dubai in February.

The 107kg seems to be Pavlos Mamatos’ to lose with the Greek lifter managing 237kg, pushing him at least 10kg ahead. No Paralympian has ever lifted 300kg, but the favorite in the men’s 107kg is talking about getting that record, with Iran’s Siamand Rahman looking to lift 300kg with a previous best of 296kg making him the big favorite for that weight category.

Indonesia’s great hope comes in the women’s 41kg, leading the rankings with a 96kg lift but will face a fight for the gold with Nawal Ramadan from Egypt. The 45kg category looks to be a race between the two Chinese lifters with Dandan Hu and Zhe Cui, the only two lifters over 100kg in the category.

The women’s 50kg category seems to be a three horse race between Egypt’s Rehab Ahmed, Chinas’ Shanshan Shi and Ukraine’s Lidiia Soloviova all sitting within two kilograms on the rankings. Mexico has a clear favorite in the 55kg category in Amalia Perez, who has a 122kg lift from February.

Egypt’s Fatma Omar and China’s Yan Yang are the two favorites for the 61kg category with both lifting over 120kg. China’s Yuijao Tan is the clear favorite for the women’s 67kg category having lifted 136kg in Kuala Lumpur in February.

In the 73kg category France’s Souhad Ghazouani is the clear favorite, coming in with an over 30kg lead on her nearest competitor. The 79kg category is where the Russian absence will be felt as Vera Muratova will be away, that will please the world leader Lili Xu whose lead is even larger now.

The women’s 86kg category is lead commandingly by Randa Mahmoud with a lift of 140kg from the Egyptian. The heaviest women’s category is also lead by an Egyptian lifter as Nadia Ali comes in ranked first with a 141kg lift in Dubai.

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