The World Championships in powerlifting for people with musculoskeletal disabilities will be taking place in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, from July 10th to 21st.
28 athletes will be representing Russia in their most important tournament of the year, or even 3 years, as they are qualifying for the Paralympics.
Dmitri Krasilnikov, head coach of the Russian National Team, talked to Russian Paralympic Committee about team goals:
“Last time we participated in World Championships was far back in 2014. It is a long time since then. The International Paralympic Committee banned us from participating in international events in 2016, and only in April 2019, when all our rights were given back, we were allowed to participate in the international tournament in Hungary.
Having only 7 athletes in Hungary, we were still able to show some stellar results. This performance gave us confidence for the Worlds, allowed us to understand that 3 years without competing on the international level were not given away, but rather used rationally. Our athletes trained, worked on their weaknesses; many of them have improved significantly since then. How competitive are they? We will see in a week.
This year the demand for medals is very high worldwide. For today, 500 athletes from 110 countries are going to participate in the World Championships. Therefore, the level of competiveness we will meet in all 10 weight disciplines, for men and women, speaks for itself. Nevertheless, we are confident the team will show its high-prepared level.
Our goals? I do not see purpose in setting these goals now, as we do not have a full picture of what the things are in our sport. The picture will clear itself by the end of the championships. However, the fact is that our team tends to progress throughout our history in powerlifting. In fact, we earned only one medal in the 2006 Paralympics, four in 2010, and in 2014 our team left the games with 9 medals. We wish only not to ruin this progression, but can we increase it? Only time will show.
The team that is leaving for Worlds has 53 athletes: 28 men and 15 women. In some events we will be represented with two athletes, which is allowed by the rules. Their goal is not only to win medals, but also to earn high placement in the world powerlifting rankings, as these rankings will decide who is ready to compete at the upcoming Paralympics in Tokyo in 2020. In Tokyo, each weight discipline will have 8 sportsmen competing, having only one representative from the country. Overall, we can send 16 athletes to Paralympics, with 8 men and women on the team. We hope that all of our athletes will meet needed requirements to qualify.