Australia was runner-up to home nation New Zealand at the 2016 Asia/Oceania Championships in Christchurch, but was clearly on top for stellar individual performances.
Our own superstar Liz Craven came back from her 3rd in the World Championships to here set 52kg World Records in the Squat with 153.5kg nd the Total 418.5kg. From there came a cavalcade or World Junior Records for our Women lifters
– Bethany Parker made a clear sweep or the records in the SubJunior 84kg class, finishing with a 481.5 Total.
– Yani Zhao was ill and below par but came through with a 198kg World Record Squat and 501kg Total at 84kg.
– Nathalie Balhald at 57kg produced a 175kg Deadlift and 390kg Total for World Records.
– Most promising of all was newcomer Schae Zarew with a 436kg Total at 63kg.
At the other end of the age spectrum venerable Masters 2 lifters Mary Macken at 47kg and Vicki O’Brien at 63kg set records including a long-sought 175.5kg Deadlift World Record for Vicki.
Across at the Men’s another superstar led the way, Cameron McKenzie setting World Junior Records in the Deadlift at 363kg and Total at 888kg. Australia had a surprise winner in the Open 66kg class with Ken Nguyen’s 590.5kg Total whilst Nathan Tanis 710kg at 83kg was a big Total but overshadowed by King James (NZ) 712kg in a battle down to the line. Two Masters stood out for Australia. Graham McDonald’s 760kg at M1 120kg being way out in front and Eric Dumas Crowleyesque 666kg at 93kg getting him best M2 lifter.
Thus ended a 300 lifter contest with 60 Australians the biggest visiting contingent after visa problems took out more than 100 entrants. In 2017 the Asia/Oceania’s are scheduled for Singapore and the ever growing force of Australian Powerlifting should again lead the way.
The Australian Powerlifting Championships played out to a packed audience at the Brisbane Fitness and Health Expo on October 22nd 23rd. Australian Records were broken in uncountable quantities and new champions emerged class after class, auguring well for the 2017 World Championships this event qualified Australians for.
In the early sessions, Wendy Chan and Michael Barbuto stamped themselves as the biggest little people, setting Australian Records in the women’s 47kg and Men’s 59kg class. But way out in front of the entire field was Liz Craven with 401kg and 502 points at 52kg. Getting her the title of Best Lifter overall. Frank Zhou at 66kg was down in the deadlift but well ahead in the Total to take out the national title.
Into the middle classes went the competition on Saturday afternoon. In the 74kg class, the ever-steady Gary Young held off two emerging lifters with Chad Odsey jumping up to 644.5kg and James Le repeating his August 642.5kg Total. In the Women’s 57kg class, Natalie Salm similarly made clear for dominance with an Australian Record Total of 383kg. At 63kg, Alix Newton defied the naysayers to come back from maternity 420kg, whilst in the 83kg class Nathan Tanis answered all the questions with a dominant 692.5kg Total.
The men’s 93kg was the class of the meet, with all placegetters exceeding the old Australian Records. Down to the last Deadlift it went, with Colin Webb rebounding from the doldrums with 738.5kg, holding off Will Phillips and the eternal Scott Hill, showing new life with 733kg. Across in the Women’s 72kg class Charlene Lee began fast with a 165kg Squat record but soon ran out of gas and another perennial, Kelli Clarke came through with 433.5kg, ahead of promising Shannyn Petzke.
the heavier classes began with the emergence from nowhere of Hayden Murphy, taking out the 105s from other new-blood lifters Leti Avei and Steven Tyrell, the latter brutal with a 300kg Australian Record Squat. The 84kg women saw World Junior SHW Champion Yani Zhao 16kg trimmer and rarely as strong totalling 500kg for an Australian Record Total. Najat Khoury was in cruise control with 530.5kg in the 84+kg class, but in the penultimate class, the 120+ men, the new force, Tyron Senituli, was taken to the limit, his 882.5kg Total just holding off Cameron McKenie. Previous top-rankers Tony Reinmuth and Daniel Curry came in 3rd and 4th in this high standard class.
And that completed the most successful Australian Championships ever. Strength Sports Gym from Brisbane took out the Men’s team title and Melbourne University the Women’s. Liz Craven was best female lifter of course and Cameron McKenzie the best male lifter, both over the 500points benchmark.
On Powerlifting Australia goes into 2017. Our top lifters will be on show again at the April Fitness and Health Expo in Sydney, bigger than ever at the revamped Darling Harbour Convention Centre. The 2017 Nationals will be back in Melbourne, also at a giant show, the October Fitness Expo a predicted 50 000+ spectators at each show continuing to sweep Powerlifting to new levels.
Fifty lifters made up Australia’s biggest ever team to a World Championship, at the 2016 event in Killeen, Texas.
Our outstanding performer was Liz Craven, third in the Women’s 52kg class with a 405kg, the first Open total medal for Australia in many a year. Backing that up were top 10 performances by almost all of Australia’s Open team. The gold medal in the Deadlift and 6th place in the 83kg class went to Amir Fazeli, 6th also and a Deadlift World Record for John Paul Cauchi in the 66kg class and Tony Reinmuth came 9th in a big, in more ways than one, field in the Superheavyweights with an Australian Record of 862.5kg. A matching big performance and Australian Record Total came from Najat Khoury in the Women’s 84+kg class.
In the Juniors the Big Australians were once again up front. Yan-Fei Zhao took out the 84+kg class with Australian Records in her 525 Total, until surpassed by Najat the next day. Down at the other end of the scale, Wendy Chan took out the 47kg Junior title. And in-between mercurial Kevin Bui set a Junior World Record in the Deadlift and taking 5th in the 83kg class, matched briefly by Anthony Luca with a 278kg Deadlift on the way to third in the 74kg class.
In the Masters the medals were almost too many to count. The perennial Glenda Presutti was the sole winner in the Masters II 57kg class, while outstanding Silver and Bronze Performances cam from Sean Muir, Eric Dumas and Mary Macken in ultra competitive fields.
Next year will surely be the biggest ever World Championships, Minsk in Belarus having set the stage with a precisely run 2016 World Student event (see next story). Australia’s Junior and Open successes in Texas auger well for our teams in 2017.