Australia’s Jessica Gray won a bronze medal at the 2015 IPC Powerlifting Open Americas Championships in Mexico City yesterday in the women’s -67 kg event. In doing so, she improved her personal best lift by 1 kg to have a new one at 68kg.
Brazilian Edilandia Araujo won gold while Chile’s Maria Ortiz won silver. Both lifters set Americas region lifting records on their way to their medals.
Cost is an issue for Gray as powerlifting is not a sport that is part of the Australian Targeting the Podium campaign. This limits the amount of government funding Gray can receive. She is required to self fund her efforts to qualify for Rio. Outside of support from friends and family and some sponsorship from Dineamic, Loaded Lifting, Next Generation Supplements, Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre and MSAC Institute of Training, Gray has a Go Fund Me campaign.
For many lifters, the competition is part of their 2016 Summer Paralympics qualifying campaign. Lifters need to have competed at last year’s world championships, meet the Paralympic Games Minimum Qualifying Standard (MQS) and and participate in at least one Regional/International approved event in 2015. This competition counts for the last criteria, and lifters can use the event to set an MQS.