World Para Powerlifting sanctioned the event in Kyoto ©IPC/Hiroki Nishioka

Kyoto in Japan hosted the first event sanctioned by World Para Powerlifting since the COVID-19 pandemic caused the global shutdown of sport.

Two days of competition were held as the Japan Challenge Cup went ahead with coronavirus restrictions in place.

No fans were allowed into the venue but both days of action were streamed live.

Five Japanese national records were broken with lifters including Hideki Odo, the men's under-88 kilograms bronze medallist at both the Asian Para Games and Asia-Oceania Open in 2018.

Susumu Yoshida, the chairman of the Japanese Para Powerlifting Federation, said this year's edition had particular importance in light of the global health crisis.

"The Challenge Cup is a gateway to newcomers and also a possibility for experienced athletes to improve their ranking," he said.

"This year, the event was held still during the pandemic which reinforced the importance of holding the tournament here." 

The lifters to set national records were Takako Tatsukawa in the women's under-61kg, Chika Sakamoto in the women's under-79kg, Tetsuo Nishizaki in the men's under-49kg, Kazuki Okuyama in the men's under-65kg and Yasuji Matsuzaki in the men's under-107kg. 

World Para Powerlifting held a virtual Online World Cup series during the pandemic.

The organisation signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Weightlifting Federation last week.