(BEIJING, September 9) -- Natalie Blake of Great Britain and Souhad Ghazouni of France are competing for their first Paralympic medals in the Women's 48kg category event on Wednesday, September 10.
Local hopeful Shi Shanshan of China is also after her first precious Paralympic metal in the same category.
Also competing for medals are athletes in the Women's 52kg and 56kg categories, and the Men's 52kg. The action takes place at the Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics Gymnasium (BUAA).
Women's 48kg Group A
Despite competing in her third Paralympic Games, Blake admitted during training that she is nervous and wary of her opponents -- Ghazouni who is also competing for her first medal, and Shi. "I'll just have to play my own game," said Blake.
Shi, the youngest in her country's team, who won gold in the junior category at the 2006 World Championships and at the National Championships in the same year, comes to Beijing with the challenge of winning her first Paralympic medal.
Now competing in the 48kg category, Lucy Ogechukwu Ejike of Nigeria won gold in the 44kg category at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games and silver at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Beijing will be her opportunity to prove herself in a heavier bodyweight category.
Women's 52kg Group A
Tamara Podpalnaya of Russia is the woman to watch in this category. She won gold medals at the Athens Paralympic Games and the Sydney Paralympic Games.
Amalia Perez of Mexico won silver at the Athens Paralympic Games and in Sydney, a gold medal at the 2006 World Championships, and silver at the 2002 World Championships. She also won gold medals at the 2007 Regional Games in Brazil and the 2005 Regional Games in Egypt.
Natali Elias of Syrian won the gold medal at the 2008 Regional Games in Egypt and bronze at the 2006 World Championships.
Women's 56kg Group A
Fatma Omar of Egypt won gold in this category at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, and gold in the 44kg category at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.
Patience Aghimile Igbiti of Nigeria won silver in this category at the Athens Paralympic Games.
Maria Bartosova of Slovakia will be seeking to increase her medal haul after winning bronze at the 2007 Regional Games in Greece and Silver at the Regional Games in 2001 in Budapest and in 1997 in Piestany, Slovakia.
Men's 52kg Group A
Osama Elserngawy of Egypt comes to Beijing to continue his winning streak, after taking gold in the Men's 52kg category at the Athens Paralympic Games and winning a silver medal at the Sydney Paralympic Games.
Close on Elserngawy's tail will be Wu Guojing of China who won a silver medal in this category at the Athens Paralympic Games. He also won silver at the 2006 World Championships and gold at the 2007 European Championships. He may prove to have a home-turf advantage in Beijing, having won gold medals at China's National Games in 2007 and 2003 in Kunming and Nanjing respectively.
Cheok Kon-fatt of Malaysia won silver in this category at the Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games and, more recently, silver at the 2008 Regional Games in Thailand.
Cesar Rubio of Cuba won a gold medal at the 2007 Para Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Niel Garcia Trelles of Peru won a silver medal at the 2007 World Championships in Rio de Janeiro.