February 22, 2017 1255 GMT
Iran’s Paralympic powerlifter Siamand Rahman has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2017 Laureus Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award.
The Iranian super-heavyweight (+107kg) powerlifter has gold medals of London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in his pocket, paralympic.org reported.
Other nominees are the Belarussian S13 swimmer Ihar Boki, Cuban sprinter Omara Durand, Swiss sprinter Marcel Eric Hug, New Zealand’s swimmer Sophie Pascoe and Italian wheelchair fencer Beatrice Vio.
Boki left Rio 2016 as the most decorated athlete after winning six golds and one bronze medal. She is joined on the shortlist by fellow swimmer Pascoe who won three golds and two silvers in Rio to become New Zealand’s most successful Paralympian of all time.
The Swiss “Silver Bullet” Hug is also shortlisted after winning his first Paralympic titles in Rio and then going on to become the first man to complete the marathon Grand Slam after wins in Boston, London, Chicago and New York.
Cuba’s Durand also rewrote the record books on her way to three gold medals, lowering the 100m T12 world record to 11.40 seconds.
The Italian teenager Vio on her Paralympic debut in wheelchair fencing won individual gold and team bronze.
Rahman made history at Latin America’s first Paralympics by becoming the first athlete to lift over 300kg.
He produced arguably the best performance of Rio 2016 when he lifted a world record 310kg to take gold in the men’s over 100kg powerlifting event. In becoming the first Paralympian to lift over 300kg, Rahman made global headlines for Paralympic sport. His final lift of 310kg was the equivalent of lifting a large Siberian tiger.
Earlier in the year, Rahman had broken his own world record by 1kg with a lift of 296kg at the 7th Fazza 2016 IPC Powerlifting World Cup.
The shortlist was decided by the IPC Governing Board following nominations from IPC members. The winner will be decided by members of the Laureus World Sports Academy and announced on February 14 at a glittering awards ceremony in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Previous winners of the awards have included Brazilian swimmer Daniel Dias, the USA’s track star Tatyana McFadden and France’s 11-time alpine skiing world champion Marie Bochet.