November 1, 2013 (ISN) – The 2013 IPC Powerlifting Asian Open Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, are set to begin on Sunday (3 November) and will be the last stop for athletes before the 2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships.
The event will run from 3-7 November at the Titiwangsa Stadium, the same venue that hosted the 2010 IPC Powerlifting World Championships.
All athletes competing in the Kuala Lumpur will have the opportunity to achieve the Minimum Qualifying Standard (MQS) for the World Championships, which will take place next year from 5-11 April in Dubai, UAE.
Among the 200 athletes from over 30 countries who will make the journey to the Malaysian capital is China’s world and Paralympic champion Lei Liu, a Beijing 2008 Paralympic Torchbearer and London 2012 gold medallist who hopes to continue his domination in his sport on the road to Rio 2016.
The 25-year-old was the world-record holder in the -67.5kg event before the weight categories were changed after London 2012 following an extensive review of all body weight category trends across major competitions.
His teammate, Qi Feng, also a Paralympic champion, is aiming to do one-better than his silver-medal performance from the last World Championships as he competes in the -54kg category for the first time.
As it is an Open Championships, several countries outside of Asia will send strong delegations, including Egypt, led by Paralympic champion Hany Abdelhady competing in the men’s -88kg division, and Mexico, led by two-time Paralympic gold medallist Amalia Perez in the women’s -61kg weight category.
Perez has picked up two Paralympic golds and two silvers, but it is a world title that still alludes her – something she is looking to build toward and achieve next year.
The Championships will also feature the debut of the Say No! to Doping – Raise the Bar Campaign, which was recently announced by IPC Powerlifting to tackle doping in the sport by educating athletes and teams.
The programme, funded by the Agitos Foundaton, not only aims to target approximately 500 lifters in total, but their coaches and the support networks which surround them throughout training and competition.
All groups will be provided with various opportunities to attend sessions where they will be given one-on-one education, training and practical testing of the knowledge they have gained. They will be shown the wealth of resources available through the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to support them in their training regimes, and will be offered a variety of branded merchandise to show their commitment to anti-doping.
Those leading the education sessions will be respected figures with years of anti-doping experience, knowledge and expertise.
For more information on the IPC Powerlifting Asian Open Championships, please visit the event website at http://www.paralympic.org/events/kuala-lumpur-2013