Algiers 2018: Paralympic champions target titles

African Championships kick off in Algerian capital city

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Paralympic and world champions will be in action at the World Para Powerlifting African Championships when competition gets underway in Algiers, Algeria, on 10 August.

This is the second continental Championships of the year after the European Open Championships which took place in Berck-Sur-Mer, France, between 25 and 29 May.

Algiers 2018 will run until 12 August and features 87 powerlifters from 17 countries who aim to win one of the 60 medals up for grabs across 20 events.

Big names competing

Sherif Osman is one of the strongest and most successful powerlifters participating in the African Championships. The Egyptian will compete in the men’s up to 59kg, hoping to successfully defend the title he won at Brazzaville 2015.

“I want to break the world record one more time,” said Osman, who holds the international mark of 211kg in the category.

Nigerian legend Lucy Ejike aims to secure the win in the women’s up to 61kg. It will be almost impossible for her rivals to prevent the Paralympic and world champion from taking the title if she shows top form. But Egypt’s Gihan Abdelaziz did not travel just to make up the numbers and will battle until the end.

In one of the most expected showdowns of Algiers 2018, Paralympic champions Randa Mahmoud and Loveline Obiji will meet in the women’s over 86kg.

They last faced each other at the World Championships in Mexico City, with the Egyptian taking gold. Obiji, however, defeated her rival the only time they competed together at a Paralympic Games in London, Great Britain, in 2012.

Algerian hopes

Hosts Algeria expect to land gold through Hocine Bettir (men’s up to 65kg) or Samira Guerioua (women’s up to 45kg).

Bettir is highly motivated after winning bronze at last year’s World Championships in Mexico City. But he will face tough opposition from Nigeria’s Paul Kehinde and Egypt’s Mahmoud Attia.

Guerioua will not have it easy either as she will compete against Nigeria’s Rio 2016 silver medallist Latifat Tijani, who will start as favourite for gold.

Algiers 2018 will be the third African Championships after Cairo 2009 and Brazzaville 2015.

All events will be streamed live on World Para Powerlifting's website and Facebook page.

Live results and a full competition schedule is available on Algiers 2018's website, where you can also find more information about the Championships.