By James Crook

151280493May 26 - Iraq's Faris Al-Ajeeli and Azerbaijan's Elshan Huseynov stole the show on the closing day of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Open European Powerlifting Championships in Aleksin, both breaking world records to lift the equivalent of an adult zebra between them.

Al-Ajeeli lifted a mammoth 240 kilogram in the men's +107kg category to take gold and set a world record, as Huseynov raised 233kg to do the same in the men's -107kg category.

Paralympic +100kg silver medallist Al-Ajeeli now has the honour of being the athlete to have lifted the most weight at IPC Powerlifting events since last summer's Games.

"It means a life of achievements for me here today, now having set the world record four times," Al-Ajeeli said.

"I cannot even begin to tell you how big of an honour it was to see my flag raised here today."

The Iraqi also confirmed that Rio 2016 was very much at the forefront of his mind, and that he hopes to be going one better than the silver medal he took in London.

Huseynov - who finished just outside the medals in fourth place at London 2012 - is another athlete that will be hoping to take gold at Rio 2016 after his impressive performance in Aleksin.

He finished well ahead of Poland's Damian Kulig in second, who lifted 206kg and Greece's Pavlos Mamalos in third, who took the bronze with a lift of 203kg.

Over the course of the five-day Championships, host nation Russia ruled the roost as they took 11 gold medals and 18 overall, well clear of Iraq in second with three gold medals and five in total, and Poland in third with two gold and eight medals in total.

Ten world records and 20 European records were set at the event, thanks in part to the new weight categories which came into effect from January 1, 2013.

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