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.
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.