The Gold Coast venue for the 2018 Commonwealth Games saw the first big Para Powerlifting event. run under the auspices of Powerlifting Australia. A stellar field of 20 lifters came forward to fight for places in the Games and new talents broke through and established stars consolidated their spots. Australia is now close to a full squad of 6 for the Gold Coast 2018.
In the Women’s lifting Jessica Gray confirmed her top ranking with 81kg then a fourth attempt 86kg. But emerging from the ranks of PA came military vet Christie Ashcroft to run Jessica close up with 85kg. Another newcomer was Rio sprint medallist Kelly Cartwright, turning to Powerlifting with a big 57kg at only 46kg bodyweight.
The Men’s lifting also went down to the wire, but proven performer Ben Wright prevailed with 174kg at 87kg bodyweight over Nang Nguyen 142kg at 56kg bodyweight. Then came Leigh Skinner a former record holder with Powerlifting Australia who pressed 160kg at 79kg. There followed a quality field, including veteran Richard Nicholson with 122kg and New Zealander Matt Gordon at 145kg.
Those great results left Australia with four probable and two further possible qualifiers for the Games. More will be revealed after the World Championships in Mexico late November, but Australia’s Para Powerlifting is now firmly on the map.
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Powerlifting Australia has long supported Paralympic Powerlifting, with local events conducted all around Australia. Now we have moved a step further by establishing an Agreement with the Australian Paralympic Committee for a performance program leading up to the 2016 Commonwealth Games.
NCAS Coach Simon Bergner, assisted by Paralympics medallist Brian McNichol and our own Cameron Whittington, will develop events and systems for achieving medal results for Australia on the Gold Coast next April.
This will utilise Powerlifting Australia’s infrastructure and the APC’s resources to maximise the performance of our existing Paralympians and to unearth new talent in the quest for Commonwealth Gold. Powerlifting Australia is honoured to be entrusted with this mission and looks forward to seeing our athletes on the podium in 2018.”
Simon Bergner [email protected]
More medals came for Australia’s team of 35 lifters at the World Powerlifting Championships in Minsk, Belarus.
Standout was Liz Craven, a medalist for the second time, improving to silver in the 52kg class but narrowly out total’d by Marisa Inda of the USA. On the way through Liz set a World Record squat of 156kg, only for that to be scratched away with Suzanne Hartwig-Gary’s 156.5kg.
Near the medals with an unlucky fourth was Yani Zhao. A miraculous deadlift of 202.5kg had Yani in the bronze position, but Zubke of Belarus came through with a controversial success on 215kg to pip Yani at the post.
In the Men’s, the 74kg class saw a pair of Australians battle it out for national records, Karl di Falco coming in just ahead of Joey Zinghini, 652.5kg to 650kg. Up in the Supers there was an even more titanic Australian struggle, Tony Reinmuth and Tyron Senituli going lift for lift and Australian Records in the Squat (Tony 355kg) and the Total (Tony 887.5kg and then Tyron 890kg) resulting. In between, in teh 93s, newcomers Cale Rowston was a very solid 9th with 747.5kg.
Down in the Juniors, Australia had another standout result, with Rachel Jones winning the 57kg class and setting a World Junior Record Squat of 153.5kg. At the other end of the age spectrum Masters I lifter Cass Pickard blitzed the field for a 40kg win in the 63kg class and venerable Kelvin Aitken was a clear winner in the Masters III 120+kg class.
Australian Powerlifting goes from strength to strength. From here we have the Oceania Championships in Singapore in December, the stepping stone for surely the biggest Worlds ever, Calgary, Canada in June 2018.