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Spanish powerlifter Loida Zabala qualifies for Rio following 2016 IPC Powerlifting World Cup, Kuala Lumpur

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Loida Zabala Ollero. Image credit: Loida Zabala Ollero

On Friday, Spanish powerlifter Loida Zabala returned home from the 2016 IPC Powerlifting World Cup, Kuala Lumpur having qualified for the 2016 Summer Paralympics despite not completing a single in competition lift.  In a video created on YouTube yesterday, Zabala said she was happy have qualified for her third Paralympic Games, and that it was hard to be so close to silver at the World Cup and not get it.  She also said it was important to get up and keep fighting for your dreams.

technical rules change

Technical changes in IPC acceptable lifts meant legal lifts in 2014 were not legal in 2016. Image credit: Loida Zabala


Zabala was able to qualify for Rio because the other competitors in Kuala Lumpur were unable to meet the IPC’s Minimum Qualifying Score (MQS).  The complicated situation meant that the top six ranked lifters in the class who had previously set MSQs during the qualification period were eligible for Rio.  This included Zabala, who was not immediately sure following the competition if she had qualified for Rio or not.

The 2016 Summer Paralympic qualifying period were a frustrating time for a number of lifters.  Changes in the sports rules regarding lifts meant that had been legal in competition in 2014 were not legal this year.  This impacted a number of lifters in Malaysia who had successful lifts that did not count because of the changes in rules.  According to Zabala, it was particularly problematic for her and for Chinese women.  Australian lifters also had some issues with this.

Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2569 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees. She has a PhD in Communications from the University of Canberra.

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