The 2013 International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) Classic World Championships just wrapped up in Suzdal, Russia. These Championships marked the inaugural debut for classic lifting on the International stage. Classic lifting is defined as the absence of supportive equipment, such as squat and deadlift suits, bench press shirts, or wraps. In other words, Classic lifting is simply what an athlete can lift using his or her own body. The Championships brought over 300 athletes, representing 33 countries; the youngest athlete being 15, and the oldest 59. There are no signs that Classic lifting is slowing down, and it is definitely here to stay. There were some remarkable performances, and although I can't cover every lift, I will attempt to summarize the Championships (with a slight bent toward Canadian lifters).
There were some outstanding bench presses among the lightweight men. Sergey Skochek from Russia, benched 2.65 his body-weight, pressing 172.5 for a World Record at 66k. As well, Canadian Junior, Connor Lutz, broke a World Record, lifting 183k at 83k bodyweight. It was an epic battle with Polish lifter Piotr Jablonsky breaking the World Record just prior at 182.5k. On Lutz's World Record attempt, the judge let the bar rest on his chest for at least five seconds before giving the "press" command, so the lift died halfway up. Canadian coach Joel Boulianne protested the long pause to the Jury and won. This gave Lutz a fourth attempt, which he then made look easy! Lutz also placed third in the overall powerlifting total. Lutz is currently the only Canadian to hold a Classic World Record for Canada.
Veteran powerlifter Anthony Burden lifted a Canadian National Squat of 252.5k at 93k bodyweight. However, Burden strained his hamstring on the deadlift and so he had to pull out of the competition, which nulled his National record. I've traveled alongside Burden to two International contests, and I know that he will keep focused during his rehab to be bigger and stronger next year. The 120k class was stacked with some big names, including Michael Tuchscherer from Team USA. Tuchscherer has medalled at the World stage before, but has never won the gold. He was primed for the win this year but couldn't hold onto his last deadlift of 365k, which placed him second to Bulgaria's Ivaylo Hristov. Hristov totaled 905k, and with a Wilks score of 521 points he was crowned the strongest pound-for-pound male lifter in the World. As well, the legendary 5-time World Champion, Brad Gillingham, added another Title to his collection as he deadlifted a World Record of 375k and won the superheavy weight class.
Two Canadian women competed in the 63k open class, Jessica Benedetto and Alison Scott. Benedetto placed 6th overall, but secured a bronze medal in the bench press lifting 90k. Scott, a relative newcomer to the sport, placed 4th overall. Both of these women will be forces to reckon with in the future, and in one more year they should be in the mix for overall medal placings. The Queen of the 63k class was Kimberly Walford from Team USA. With an overall total of 476k, and a 515 Wilks score, Walford earned the strongest pound-for-pound female award. Walford is also one of the greatest deadlifters the World has ever seen, and she convinced us even more by deadlifting a world record of 221k. The 2nd place deadlift was over 40k behind Walford - absolute domination! The World also saw the first female squat over 500lbs, Fang-Yun Su, from Taipei, lifted 230k in the 84k+ open class. Canadian Junior lifter, Dani Savoie, competed in the 84k class and secured a silver medal in the overall total. Savoie is relatively new to the sport, but has a packed 2013 schedule, competing in the World Junior Championships in August and Commonwealth Championships in December.
For a full list of the results, click HERE.
Next year the Championships go to Kazakhstan. Pursuit of Strength team member James Bartlett, winner of the 2013 Arnold Sports Festival, has his eyes on qualifying and racking up some more hardware for Team Canada.
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