March 4 – Britain has named an eight-strong squad for next month's International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Powerlifting World Championships, which includes London 2012 veterans Ali Jawad, Natalie Blake and bronze medal winner Zoe Newson.
All eight were selected after meeting the minimum qualifying standard and will head to the Championships in Dubai, which run from April 5 to 11, supported by team manager Tom Whittaker, coaches Arun Singh, Rik Partridge, Neil Crosbie and physio Susanne Basnett.
Seven of the squad were chosen by British Weight Lifting after hitting their qualifying standard, while Chris Rattenbury will compete after hitting the slightly lower IPC qualifying standard.
World record holder and Asian Open champion Jawad set an unofficial world record and new national record by lifting 190 kilograms in the 59kg class at the UK IPC Bench Press Championships in Folkestone last month to secure his spot on the squad.
Blake and Newson also set new national records at the Championships.
European champion Blake lifted above 100kg for the first time in four years as she recorded 101kg in the 55kg category, while Newman produced an effort of 91kg in the 41kg class.
Scotland's Micky Yule secured his place on the plane to Dubai with a British record lift of 173kg in the 65kg category, while Paul Efayena qualified by registering 196kg in the 107kg class in Folkstone – another national record.
Adam Alderman and Panagiotis Mamuneas complete the British line-up, with Mamuneas setting a personal best in the 54kg class, adding 5kg to his previous best of 115kg last month.
"We have such a lot of talent in this team, and they are all showing great improvement every time they compete which is pleasing not just to the athletes and their coaches but to the governing body and our funding partners at UK Sport too," said chief executive of British Weight Lifting, Ashley Metcalfe.
"It is going to be exciting to see how far these athletes can go, not just at the World Championships but in the future as they aim for Rio 2016."
The Championships in Dubai is anticipated to be the biggest yet, with around 400 athletes from more than 50 countries expected to attend the sixth staging of the event which was previously hosted by Dubai in 1998.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
February 2014: British powerlifters warm-up for World Championships with impressive displays in Folkestone
November 2013: Asian gold and world record for British powerlifter Ali Jawad in Kuala Lumpur
May 2013: IPC Powerlifting World Championships heading to Dubai in 2014