Melbourne’s stellar Fitness Show was once again the scene for the Australian Open Championships. Australia’s best 90 lifters were invited to fight out the 15 Championship titles in front of 20,000 fitness professionals & fans and the result was no less than nine new Australian Total Records.

In the Women’s classes World’s silver medallist Liz Craven was out in front as Best Lifter with 431kg at 57kg, on the way to another medal in her native 52kg class next year. Canberra stablemate Schae Zarew was also well clear in her 63kg class with a solid 435kg total. More Australian Records came in the 72kg and 84kg classes with repeat winners Kelli Clarke and Yani Zhao and at superheavyweight, Najat Khoury also repeated as title-holder with 457.5kg.

Amongst the men, Australia’s Records came from the small fry with 59kg. Ray wong producing 545.5kg and half-bodybuilder half-powerlifter Karl di Falco with 603.5kg. At 74kg peripatetic Alvin Lim returned to hold off an unusually prudent Joey Zinghini who chose 275kg to in turn keep at bay JP Cauchi for second place. The 83kg class was all Nathan Tanis, way out in front with 740.5kg, en route to high placing at next years World’s.

The 93kg class had depth topped by Will Phillips breaking through to a big Australian Record 772.5kg, chased to the line by four others over 737.5. In the 105kg class old stager David Jame had the crowd worried after a 260kg Deadlift miss, then 280kg miss but the smart money knew 312.5 would go on third attempt for a blast from the past win. The top two classes saw the top two men perform Cameron McKenzie totalling 865kg at 120kg after a needed lay off and then Tyron Senituli putting everything beyond doubt with a giant 927.5kg and 511 points to make clear who was Best Lifter.

On from here will go our top lifters to the Oceania Championships in December in Singapore and then the acid test, the World Championships in Calgary, Canada next June. the impressive results at these Nationals foreshadow many medals to come at those big events.

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