The 2019 World Paralympic Powerlifting Championships in Kazakhstan came to a close on July 20 with the U.S. Para Powerlifting team earning one medal and hitting personal records.
Kelley Humphries, DC, MS, EMT-P, CSCS, ICCSP, CCSP, Executive Director of Paralympic Operations at Logan University, said she was proud of the progress made by the athletes and coaching staff, adding that this year was a vast improvement from the team’s performance at the 2018 Americas Championships in Bogota, Columbia.
Early on in the competition, Jonathan Coots scored a bronze medal in the up to 54kg men’s Junior division weight category and Para Powerlifter Christian Largo competed in the up to 65kg open division, securing 12th place (with a best attempt of 137kg) among 30 lifters. Additionally, Para Powerlifter Luis (Alex) Gonzalez-Poma competed in the men’s Up to 72kg open division and hit a personal record at 103kg.
Weekend highlights included:
- Ashley Dyce competing in the Women’s Over 86kg Open division, earning a spot on the board with an attempt of 105kg. According to Dr. Humphries, this lift gave her a top 20 finish at World Championships and could possibly help with her current world rankings as well as potential for qualifying for a spot on the 2020 Paralympic Team. Dyce will be competing in the 2019 Tokyo Test Event in September, giving her another chance at increasing her world rankings.
- Antonio Martin competing in the Men’s Over 107kg Open division. Martin finished 4th overall with a best lift of 227kg. This was Martin’s first time getting on the board at an international competition. His performance will help him with his aspiration to earn a spot at the 2020 Paralympic Games. Martin will also compete in the 2019 Tokyo Test Event.
- Jake Schrom competing in the Men’s Up to 107kg weight class. While Schrom did not make it on the board, Dr. Humphries said he has two more opportunities this year to increase his international rankings. Schrom will be a part of Team USA at the Para Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, at the end of August, and will represent the sport of Para Powerlifting for the U.S. at the Tokyo Test 2019 Paralympic Test Event Sept. 26-27.
- Ahmed Shafik competing in the Men’s Up to 97kg open division. For the first time in Team USA Para Powerlifting history, an athlete got nine white lights on the international stage. “This means that Ahmed got a “good lift” call from all three of the referees for all three of his attempts,” Dr. Humphries said. “This is something that is very difficult to achieve at this level of the sport.” Additionally, Ahmed set a personal record of 190kg at the age of 46 years old.A two time Paralympian, Ahmed finished 15th overall in his weight class and made history for this developing sport in the U.S. on the World Championship stage.
On their off day, the team had the opportunity to explore Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan and met with Tedd Lyng, the U.S. Deputy Chief Mission to Kazakhstan. “It was a great day to see the city and embrace the culture,” said Dr. Humphries.
The next competition that the group will prep for is the qualifier at Logan in January 2020. Logan will also be hosting a Technical Official Course and an Athlete and Coaches Summit at the same time.