Bogota 2018: Rodrigo Villamarin targets Worlds

Argentinian powerlifter aims for qualification and Americas medal

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Rodrigo Villamarin is one of the young Latin American powerlifters pushing to make a name for himself on the world stage. The Argentinian has achieved some remarkable results among juniors, including World Championships silver and Youth Parapan American gold. But Villamarin has yet to deliver a standout performance in senior categories.

The Bogota 2018 World Para Powerlifting Americas Open Championships, which get underway in exactly one month on 6 December, will be a good opportunity for the 21-year-old to show what he is capable of.

“My main goal is to achieve qualification for the 2019 World Championships in Astana, Kazahkstan. If I can also reach the podium, even better,” said Villamarin, who sealed bronze in the men’s up to 49kg at the 2015 Americas Open Champs in Mexico City.

“There are strong Brazilian powerlifters in my category; it will not be easy task.

“Beyond Bogota 2018, I am hoping to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, but I know it is very difficult to achieve that. It is not as easy as it may seem.”

Villamarin’s personal best currently stands at 95kg, but believes he can improve that mark a lot more in the upcoming years.

“I think I will be able to lift much more weight. I am still young and have many years ahead of training, sacrifice and effort. Everything is possible,” he said.

“I do not know specifically how much I will lift in the future, but I hope it is a lot. I would like to be among the world’s best. We will see where I get; I will give my best.

“There are many things I still need to get better at such as following a diet or daily habits, but it is not so easy.”

Villamarin takes inspiration from his idol: Egyptian multiple powerlifting Paralympic and world champion Sherif Osman.

“I think he is the best powerlifter in the world. Besides, he is a great person, always very nice at every competition and has no issues in talking to anyone.”

Another top powerlifter is Iranian Siamand Rahman, who holds the men’s over 107kg world record of 310kg. Villamarin said: “It is impressive to see him lifting so many kilograms so easily. What he does is incredible and I think he can lift much more.”