Spanish powerlifter Loida Zabala Ollero is in Mexico training ahead of the 2015 IPC Powerlifting Americas Open Championships scheduled for April. She reported on Facebook that her recent training had been very productive. Recently, she’s been training with chains on the each side of bar to improve her lift, to increase the efficiency of both arms working together to lift the bar equally. The chains add 13 kilos to the amount she needs to lift, with the bar having about 20 kilos and having an extra 40 kilos of total weight on the bar.
Going to Mexico was part of Zabala’s 2016 Summer Paralympics qualifying campaign. To qualify for Rio, she needs to meet the Paralympic Games Minimum Qualifying Standard (MQS) for IPC Powerlifting of 62.0 kg which she has set, have competed in the 2014 World Championship which she did and finished fourth, and participate in at least one Regional/International approved event in 2015, which she complete by competing in Mexico.
At the age of 11, Zabala was diagnoses with transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spine. She competed at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Paralympics. While weighing only 48 kilos, she has been able to produce lifts of more than 100 kilos, and is coached by Lodario Ramón. Competing in Spain can be challenging at time, because there are no women in her weight class who can come near her in how much they can lift. Often, she is the only ranked female powerlifter in the whole country.