A packed crowd as always was there for the Pacific Challenge event at Fitness Show Sydney 2019 – and the lifters of six nations responded with Australian, Oceania and World Records galore.
First off, Masters World Records came from lightweight Women lifters Ali Gascoigne from New Zealand and Ding Li from China. Then Jess Sewastenko raised the stakes with a WR Total of 436kg at 58kg; surpassing even the venerable Liz Craven and stamping herself as a real star of the future. At 72kg Barbara Avua’a was down from her stellar 500kg of last year, but is building back up and was still clear of hardy perennial Kelli Clarke of Australia, who produced yet another AR with a 177kg Squat. Jewel Tasi, Samoa via New Zealand and Youth WR setter, Brea De Jonge rounded out the heavier classes with major Totals.
The Mens classes began with the anti-climax of the year. The whole Show stopped to watch Karl Di Falco assault the WR Squat but three red lights for depth later Karl was left to regroup for another attack in Shanghai in August. But then came an unexpected record from Chad Odsey with 186kg Bench Press at 77kg. The 85kg class was a quality event, with Taggart Duburiya of Nauru just holding off Josh Tukua 722kg to 716kg. The 94s was an all-China affair, going down to the wire with Xi Tan holding off Yingyi Yang by a single kg – 688 v 687. In the 105s another dark horse emerged, Michael Rand setting records in the Deadlift 331kg and Total 792kg.
Conner Stanfield was out on his own with 770kg at 120kg, but then we had a second showdown between Tony Reinmuth and Joe Whittaker. Tony was strong in the Squat with 375kg AR but Joe edged ahead with 380kg. Tony gained valuable ground with a 237kg Bench and then chased an AR Total with a 333kg Deadlift attempt. That was a miss but that weight left Joe trapped too high at 334kg and the cavalcade of red lights left Tony the winner 930kg to 927kg.
That was the climax of another stellar Fitness event. Now, even more is to come at the Show of Shows, FIBO China in Shanghai next August.