The biggest sporting event of 2018, the XXI Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, saw Powerlifting Australia’s team of four outstanding Para Powerlifters take to the platform in front of a worldwide audience. Coach Simon Bergner, Manager Bill Nancarrow and physiotherapist Sean McCoola led the way for four solid performances.
First up for Australia was Nang Van Nguyen, coming in with 132kg in the Lightweight Men. 137kg was just missed twice, putting Nang in a steady 8th place.
Session Two had Australia’s Lightweight Women’s lifter Kelly Cartwright, a cross-sport phenomenon, turning to Powerlifting after a stellar career in sprinting. Only 8 months into her lifting career, Kelly PB’d by 8kg with 64kg at 47kg bodyweight and 7th place.
The big Heavyweight Men’s session saw two Australians tackling the Nigerian and Indian superstars of Para Powerlifting. Veteran Leigh Skinner was in his third Commonwealth Games and with 157kg at 83kg bodyweight was his ever reliable self. Last up was the big gun, Ben Wright from Perth. Ben was in his second Games and 172kg placed him at a very sound 6th place.
Those great performances have set the stage for the future of the sport in Australia. From 2018 to 2020 there will be a build-up of training, coaching and competition through to the ultimate event for our athletes, the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.