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Newbury para-powerlifter Louise Sugden claims silver medal at Para Powerlifting World Cup

The 36-year-old also broke the British record she set in the competition last year

Louise with her silver medal in Manchester | Ref: SWpix.com
Louise with her silver medal in Manchester | Ref: SWpix.com

NEWBURY para-powerlifter Louise Sugden continued her charge towards the re-arranged Paralympic Games in Tokyo by securing a silver medal at a recent event.

Sugden, 36, came second in the up to 86kg category at the Para Powerlifting World Cup, which took place in Manchester over the weekend.

It didn’t come easy for her though, as her first two attempts were unsuccessful – putting a significant amount of pressure on the final go.

Although that was also ruled out, the decision was appealed and it was successful.

“It’s not a situation I’ve found myself in before,” she said. “I was hugely disappointed when the referees decided my last lift was unsuccessful because it felt like a good lift to me.

“Then when the decision was overturned I was so relieved, I’m just glad the rules allowed us to appeal the decision and my coach was prepared to do so.”

In completing her final attempt, Sugden broke the British record she set in Manchester last year with her third-round lift of 128 kg.

“I’m always looking to break my British record because it shows the progress I’ve made and every time I go out in competition I’m trying to progress and get closer to that medal zone.

“I love breaking records and it’s definitely a motivator for me,” added Sugden. “I use these kind of goals to keep me motivated in the short term while continuously working towards the ultimate goal – which is Tokyo qualification and challenging for a medal at the Paralympics.”

The result at the weekend has moved Sugden up in the current rankings and boosted her chances of representing Great Britain in Tokyo this summer.

“We’ve got until the end of June before qualification closes,” she said. “There are a few competitions before then but the main one will be in Dubai at the end of June.

“Hopefully, I will be able to travel to that competition to defend my rankings and secure my place at Tokyo.

“Between now and then I’ll be working to get even stronger than I am now.”

Although she has been fortunate to train during the coronavirus pandemic, it has brought up its own complications.

“I hope in the future we will begin to get back to some form of normality and I really look forward to the days when PPE isn’t needed in the gym.”

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