Fazza 2019: Sherif Osman targets golden start

Egyptian legend kicks off year with clear goals

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Sherif Osman kicks off his year looking to extend a career-long winning-streak at the 10th Fazza 2019 World Para Powerlifting World Cup in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 8-12 February.

The unbeaten Egyptian legend, clear favourite in the men’s up to 59kg, said: “I am so excited about starting my season winning gold at Fazza 2019.”

He has taken part in this World Cup six times, claiming gold at all editions, with the last being in 2014.

Dubai seems to be Osman’s favourite destination as he broke the world record three times in the Emirati city.

The last was at the 2014 World Championships, when he cleared the bar at 205kg in the up to 54kg. Before that, he also broke the world records in the up to 56kg (206.5kg in 2012) and up to 52kg (191kg in 2010).

Apart from that, Osman holds the world record of 211kg in the up to 59kg which he set at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The three-time Paralympic and world champion is the only powerlifter on the planet who holds the world record in more than one category still in the Paralympic programme (up to 52kg and 56kg are no longer part).

And he feels there is still much more he can achieve. “I hope to break the world record again at the World Cup,” he said. “God willing, I will lift 211.5kg.”

In July, Osman will compete in the World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan.

“Fazza 2019 will help me in my preparations but, of course, my main objective for the year is winning my fourth World Championship title.

“I honestly believe I can keep defending the world title for more than 10 years. That is my dream.”

Osman will take some months off after Astana 2019. “A warrior rest,” as he described it.

He needs to return to trainings soon, though, in order not to let himself be caught off guard by his rivals at the following competitions. But Osman exudes positivism with the 2020 Paralympics fast approaching.

“Tokyo 2020? I am so confident I am already planning for Paris 2024! That is my target. I want to eventually get to six Paralympic golds.”

Live streaming and full results will be available on World Para Powerlifting's website.