Hangzhou 2022 APG Powerlifting Preview: Thrilling contests on cards with Paralympic, World stars in focus

Caption: China’s Guo Lingling celebrates her gold medal in women’s – 41 kg at the Dubai 2023 World Para Powerlifting Championships.

The Xiaoshan Sports Center Gymnasium is set to witness the world’s best athletes asserting their status through incredible power and technique when the Para Powerlifting events get underway in Hangzhou on October 23, 2023.

Both the men’s and women’s competitions are expected to be thrilling rounds with the presence of Paralympic and World champions in the line-up of 173 athletes from 31 nations competing for 20 gold medals at the Xiaoshan Sports Centre Gymnasium.

The home nation, China are expected to dominate as athletes head into the Asian Para Games after a powerful show at the Dubai 2023 World Para Powerlifting Championships. China have topped the medals table with 18 medals that included nine gold medals and several world records.

Paralympic champions Guo Lingling (women’s – 41 kg), Tan Yujiao (women’s – 67 kg), Deng Xuemei (women’s +86 kg), Qi Yongkai (men’s – 59 kg) and Yan Panpan (men’s – 97 kg) yet again stamped their dominance months with their record breaking shows ahead of the Games. They are expected to continue the momentum at home in Hangzhou 2022, helping China retain their top spot in medals table (10 golds in Indonesia 2018).

Gustin, Khattab eye first gold

Jordan team sings the national anthem at medal presentation ceremony on Sunday.

Caption: Jordan’s Abdelkareem Khattab will be one of the favourites in men’s – 88kg event

Elsewhere, there will be several familiar faces expected to shine in Hangzhou 2022. But there will some others who will be aiming their first ever Asian Para Games medals. Paralympic champions Bonnie Bunyau Gustin (men’s – 72kg) and Abdelkareem Khattab (men’s – 88kg) would be looking to win their first Asian Para Games gold medals after becoming world champions and setting new records.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s Le Van Cong, who clinched his first World title in six years in Dubai, would love to stay on top ahead of Tokyo 2020 champion Omar Qarada from Jordan in the 49kg line-up.

Vietnam will also have Nguyễn Bình An, the defending champion in men’s – 54kg but he is expected to face a tough challenge from Kazakhstan’s David Degtyarev, the new world champion.

In men’s – 80 kg, the fight for title will be between rivals – Paralympic and wolrd champion Rouhollah Rostami and China’s defending champion Gu Xiaofei.

Iran to rule heavyweight events

Iran men should dominate in heavyweight categories and continue the legacy of Siamand Rahman through the presence of Aliakbar Gharibshahi (men’s – 107kg) and Aminzadeh Ahmad (men’s +107 kg).

However, Mongolia’s Sodnompiljee Enkhbayar, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic gold medallist, would be ready to defend his men’s up to 107kg title.

Elsewhere in women’s events, Indonesia will have a few players who can challenge the home stars including two-time Paralympic medallist Ni Nengah Widiasih (women’s – 45kg), Siti Mahmudah (women’s – 79kg) and Sriyanti (women’s +86kg). Meanwhile, Vietnam’s Thi Linh Phuong Dang will be also eager to shine at Hangzhou after her World bronze in women’s – 50kg event.        

For South Korea, Indonesia 2018 medallists Lee Hyun-jung (women’s +86kg) and Lee Young-sun (women’s – 86kg) would be aiming to retain their medals.

Para Powerlifting, which has been part of Asian Para Games since 2010 Guangzhou Games, will run over five days in the Xiaoshan Sports Centre Gymnasium in Hangzhou.

China’s Deng Xuemei celebrates her gold medal

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