The European Open Championships saw a historic moment as Ukrainian Mariana Shevchuk made history in the women’s upto 55kg by lifting an unprecedented 130.5kg to set a new world record.
The European Open Championships ended in style on Tuesday (29 May), as Konstantinos Dimou delivered an outstanding performance to set a new European record of 230kg in the men’s over 107kg in Berck-Sur-Mer, France.
The Greek powerlifter broke his own record of 229kg that was set at the Mexico City 2017 World Championships.
“I am happy because I achieved what I came here for: the gold medal and the European record,” said Dimou. “I did not try my third attempt because I had nothing else to compete for this time. I may raise the bar even higher at the Astana 2019 World Championships.”
Hungary’s Sandor Sas secured silver with a 201kg lift ahead of Georgia’s Akaki Jintcharaze (190kg) who sealed bronze.
But it was not the only record set during the five days of competition. Ukrainian Mariana Shevchuk made history in the women’s up to 55kg by lifting an unprecedented 130.5kg to set a new world record.
“I am so happy. After finishing second to Amalia Perez at the Mexico City 2017 World Championships, I continued working hard, going step by step, knowing that I would have another chance soon,” the 22-year-old said.
“Now I am hoping more successes follow, including at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.”
Shevchuk ended ahead of Turkey’s Besra Duman (114kg) and Ireland’s Nicola Dore (70kg) in the European podium.
Hosts France celebrated two golds at the Europeans through Paralympic and world champion Souhad Ghazouani (135kg) in the women´s up to 73kg and Rafik Arabat (196kg) in the men´s up to 88kg.
“I am very happy to have won gold in front of my people but a bit disappointed I could not break the European record,” said Arabat. “In my first try, my arms were not on the same level. And I was powerless on my second attempt.”
Ghazouani added: “I am happy I won but did not expect it because I am in the middle of the Ramadan and lack strength.”
Another standout performance was that of Turkey´s Paralympic champion Nazmiye Muratli (111kg), who claimed gold in the women´s up to 50kg ahead of Ukrainian rival and Rio 2016 gold medallist Lidiia Soloviova (106kg). Spain’s Loida Zabala Ollero (90kg) came in third.
Non-European lifters also set new benchmarks.
Three Americas records were set in Berck-Sur-Mer by Brazil’s Mariana D’Andrea (111kg in the women’s up to 67kg), Mexico’s Perla Barcenas (136kg in the women’s over 86kg) and Brazil’s Joao Maria Franca Junior (137kg in the men’s up to 49kg).
Two sets of medals were awarded in each event at the Championships. The top three powerlifters overall received gold, silver and bronze. As well as that, the top three European powerlifters also won medals for being the best in their continent.
A total of 133 powerlifters from 33 countries competed in the European Open Championships. The next Para powerlifting continental competition will be the African Championships in Algiers, Algeria, between 10 and 12 August.