Amalia Perez will be one to watch at the  IPC Powerlifting Americas Open Championships in Mexico City ©Getty Images

Some of the world’s strongest athletes are gearing up for the International Paralympic Committee Powerlifting Americas Open Championships in Mexico City later this month.

Some 120 athletes representing 25 nations will not only compete for medals in Mexico’s capital from April 26 to 29 but also for qualification for both the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

Among the impressive field is home athlete and Paralympic champion Amalia Perez, who will compete in the women’s up to 61 kilogram weight class.

She secured gold in the under 60kg competition at London 2012 with a 135.50kg lift before the weight categories were modified and most recently claimed the top podium spot at last year’s World Championships in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai with a 128kg effort, which was also an Americas record.

Perez’s compatriot Perla Barcenas will be another athlete to watch out for when she competes in the women’s up to 79kg.

The double Paralympic medallist is the current women’s over 86kg Americas record holder but has scaled down in the weight classes after undergoing surgery on both of her shoulders in 2013.

Elsewhere, Juan Carlos Garrido of Chile competes in the men’s up to 59kg as the Americas record holder.

His record stands at 177.0kg, but Garrido has lifted 180.0kg at non-IPC Powerlifting recognised competitions.

He also claimed the bronze medal at the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games and finished in fifth place at the World Championships last year with a 172.0kg lift.

The IPC Powerlifting Americas Open Championships will be the first major competition of the year and is followed by the continental tournaments for Asia in Almaty, Kazakhstan from July 26 to 30 and Europe in the Hungarian city of Eger from November 24 to 28.

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