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Beijing hosts world powerlifting event for visually impaired

By Deng Zhangyu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-09-10 15:55
The 11th World Powerlifting Championships for Visually Impaired Athletes kicked off in Beijing on Monday with 102 participants from 11 countries including Russia, the United States and Turkey.

It's the first time that Beijing has hosted the event.

Different from weightlifting, powerlifting doesn't require that the weight be lifted above the head.

It is likely that powerlifting will be added into the Paralympics in 2020, according to the National Paralympics Committee of China.

The event will last until Saturday.

Participating athletes either have poor vision or are unable to see.

Ukraine, with 18 athletes, and Russia with 15, lead the foreign contingent in terms of numbers.

The US and Japan have sent one each.

Sergei Shatalov from southwestern Russia has practiced powerlifting for 15 years. He is a semi-professional athlete and makes his living by coaching children.

"Weightlifting and powerlifting is very popular in Russia. Most of our team are professional athletes," said the 30-year-old Russian player.

As the host country, China has three athletes competing. All are from Tianjin and have been in training for six months.

Li Dongyang, who will compete in the men's 90kg category, was a farmer before he became a powerlifter.

"We had no visually impaired people doing powerlifting in China before. We hope by holding this event we can get more attention and support from the government," said Zhao Genxiang, deputy secretary general of the championship committee.

The sport emerged in the 1980s, and the world championships have been held in Australia, Canada, Britain and the US.

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