Brazilian powerlifter Joseano Felipe, who last week won a gold medal at the Rio 2016 test event, has died at the age of 42 ©Getty Images

Brazilian powerlifter Joseano Felipe has died just days after setting a new continental record at the Rio 2016 test event.

Felipe was in action as recently as Saturday (January 23) when he broke the Americas record in the men’s up to 107 kilograms class at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Powerlifting World Cup.

The 42-year-old's lift of 206kg earned him a gold medal and put him on the verge of qualifying for his first Paralympic Games.

The Brazilian Paralympic Committee said in a statement that Felipe, who won gold at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, suffered a cardiac arrest.

"I would like to pass on my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Joseano Felipe following his tragic passing," said IPC President Sir Philip Craven.

"Joseano was a well-liked and popular man on the IPC Powerlifting circuit who was on the cusp of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

"He will be sadly missed by all within the Paralympic Movement, especially those in the powerlifting community."

Joseano Felipe competes at last week's IPC Powerlifting World Cup in Rio de Janeiro
Joseano Felipe competes at last week's IPC Powerlifting World Cup in Rio de Janeiro ©Getty Images

Having taken up powerlifting in 2005, Felipe had been training with his son for the last year.

Following his success at the Rio 2016 test event, he told "I cannot let this chance to compete at the Paralympic Games escape.

"I have to keep improving, even at my age."

The former policeman was left paralysed from the waist down in 2000 after being shot in the spine.

It happened as he was trying to stop a mass jailbreak staged to "rescue" notorious bank robber Valdetário Carneiro from Alcaçuz prison in Nísia Floresta in north east Brazil.