Fitzpatrick's road to Tokyo starts in Dubai | TeamSA - TeamSA

Fitzpatrick’s road to Tokyo starts in Dubai


By Mark Etheridge

African record holder Ricardo Fitzpatrick will be flexing his muscles for South Africa at next month’s Fazza World Para Powerlifting World Cup in Dubai.

Kimberley based Fitzpatrick will be the only South African in action at the event which will run from 27 February to 3 March.

If ever Fitzpatrick needed any motivation it will come with the knowledge that the event is the first qualifying event for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan.

So Fitzpatrick will be one of the first lifters to get his name onto the 2017 World Para Powerlifting rankings.

Ranked 17th out of 217 lifters in the -83kg rankings last year, he’s also the current Arnold Classic Africa and African bench press champion. Last year he also broke the SA classic bench press record in the -83kg division.

‘Training is going well,’ says Fitzpatrick from his Northern Cape base. ‘I’m not going too heavy on my bench press, there’s just much more intensity involved. In my assisted training I am focusing on my weak points to make them as strong as possible.’

Fitzpatrick is no stranger to Dubai having competed at the 2014 Dubai IPC Powerlifting World Championships.

‘I bombed out on a technicality but this time I have figured out my methods perfectly and put that into my training. I just want to be consistent and get my best result and PB at an international competition.’

Pushed for a weight that he has in mind, Fitzpatrick says: ‘I’d be happy with 175kg at the Fazza World Cup and then be looking to go much bigger at the 2017 World Para Powerlifting World Championships in Mexico in September.’

Certainly if his training weights are anything to go by his 175kg goal should be a cinch. ‘I’m doing 195kg in the gym and I’ll bring my form from the gym to the competition. Every time I lay on that bench in Kimberley I imagine I’m at the Club for the Disabled in Dubai and pressing the 195kg.’