June 2019 saw APU send 13 athletes to the 2019 IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships in the beautiful 1000 year old city of Helsingborg Sweden.
First Athlete to lift was the experienced Lin Donevska at her 5th World Championships and in the M2 72kg division for the first time.
Lin missed her first 2 squats yet composed herself to get the third squat and go on to go 3 from 3 on bench finishing with 75kg and securing a silver medal. Lin also went 3 from 3 on deads with a pb 125kg pull and a PB total of 295kg.
Thursday 6th saw Eric Dumas return to the World stage in the M2 93kg division and again proved he has the best squat in the World in this division going 3 from 3 and 257.5kg to get the gold. Eric continued onto bench with a perfect 3 from 3 and 137.5kg. Eric deadlifted well with a 260kg just missing his last of 270kg bringing his total to 655kg and a well deserved Silver medal overall.
Next up was one of Australia’s most experienced campaigner Neville Harris at his 8th World Championships. Nev had a bit of a weight cut this time and didn’t have his best day but never gave up going 200kg on Squat, 127.5kg Bench and 237.5kg on Deadlift just running out of gas on his final 250kg pull. Nev didn’t get the numbers he was hoping for as he only got openers on squat and bench but finished 9th overall.
Sunday the 8th started with Sub Junior 63kg Isabelle Hemmings who didn’t get the start she wanted missing her first squat then showing strength of character to go 105kg and 110kg on the squat. Bench started strong with 55kg followed by 60kg however 65kg proved a bit much on the day. Isabelle wasn’t done though and went 3 from 3 on deads 122.5kg, 127.5kg and a PB 135kg to total 305kg and finish 7th overall. Impressive effort on the big stage.
Ewan Belgrove was up next in the 83kg junior men’s and had high expectations on himself especially his favourite discipline the squat where he was eyeing off the World record.
Ewan however injured his knee in the bottom of his first squat of 287.5 kg and after moving onto 297.5kg for his second the knee proved to sore to complete the lift and his 3rd attempt was passed in to prevent further injury. However, this was still enough to secure Silver in squat. Ewan showed real strength of character to continue onto the bench press finishing 1kg under his best with his last press of 165kg and getting himself a bronze medal. By now Ewan was in a fair bit of pain and had no choice but to load the bar to 70kg for his first and last deadlift to total. Obviously disappointing for Ewan personally yet a tremendous effort to finish and still come home with 2 medals.
The afternoon session saw Australia field two 93kg juniors Matthew Shapiera and Daniel Felstein.
Both these young men have big futures in the sport and Matthew finishing squats just ahead with a 250kg squat with Daniel close behind with 247.5kg.
Matthew kept the momentum going with 3 from 3 and a 155kg bench.
Daniel opened with 140 kg and couldn’t quiet lock out the 147.5kg on his next 2 attempts.
Matthew again showed great strength for his short time in the sport going 252.5kg, 270kg and just missing 275kg on deads.
Deadlifts are Daniel’s favourite lift and he opened with an easy 270kg followed by a good 285kg. 290kg was just too much after a long day. These guys pushed each other all the way with Matthew finishing 14th with a 675kg total. Daniel just behind in 15th with a 672.5kg total.
Very impressive totals for junior men with very limited experience in this sport on the World stage.
Our last Junior woman to lift was Isabella Devetak in the 72kg class in her second worlds and Isabella had a solid day going 6 from 9 with a 152.5kg squat, an 80kg bench and pulling an epic 170kg deadlift PB to come in 14th over all.
The last of our Junior men to hit the platform was Queenslander Liam O’Kelly in his first World Championships but sure not to be his last.
Liam started his day well with a 235kg final squat and a bronze medal before moving on to bench finishing with 142.5 kg.
Liam successfully pulled 245kg before attempting 252.5kg for third overall, however didn’t quiet have it left in the tank. Sensational effort finishing 4th overall and taking home a bronze medal in squats and PB on squats bench, deads and total.
On Tuesday Team captain Demi Poon at her first worlds could not have performed any better. Demi went 9 from 9 with 132.5kg squat 9th, 72.5kg bench 10th and 137.5kg deadlift and 342.5kg total. Demi also broke the Australian squat and total records.
Leonardo Sucitra was our only open male entrant and the youngest in the 74kg men’s division and started his day well with 3 from 3 on squats with a tough grind of 252.5kg on his final squat and 4th place.
Unfortunately, Leo could not match his success on bench only getting his opener of 145kg.
Deadlifts are Leo’s favourite lift and he was expecting to go over 300kg however after a decent weight cut and a long day fatigue set in and Leo was only successful with his opener of 270kg finishing 12th overall in a strong field.
Remarkable effort for a young man who coaches himself and trains on his own.
Australia was well represented in the Women’s open 72kg class with Marlena Gabriel and Elizabeth Napoli.
Marlena was first on the platform missing her opening squat of 135kg on depth before finding her groove and getting the next one and her final 145kg squat.
Liz went 3 from 3 with 145kg, 150kg and 155kg.
Both ladies had a perfect round of benches with Marlena’s best being 82.5kg before Liz secured 9th place on bench with 97.5kg.
Marlena pulled a strong 172.5kg dead just missing her third deadlift of 180kg on a technicality finishing with 402.5kg and 17th place.
With 2 platforms running at the same time and lots of noise and energy Liz rushed her set up on last pull of 177.5kg which would have given her a perfect 9 from 9 but unfortunately it wasn’t to be on the day. Liz gave an incredible performance totalling 425kg with Pb’s on all lifts and total placing 12th over all.
Contributor: Ray Owen