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.