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.