By REDintern Ng Bing Wen
Toa Payoh Sports Hall, Saturday–Sunday, July 6–7, 2013 – For the first time in local history, the Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting and kettlebell championships were merged to form the National Strength Sports Classic 2013.
An unprecedented turnout of over 100 participants, including athletes from Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and India, took part in the meet.
Historically, weightlifting is the first competitive lifting sport and the only lifting sport that is included in the Olympics. The olympic lifts – snatch, clean and jerk – are known as the most technically demanding and complex resistance exercises in existence.
Powerlifting is a competitive lifting sport involving maximal performance of three competition lifts – squat, bench press, and deadlift. Judges strictly enforce standardization of technique across the various lifts. Judges ensure that the lifter has paused for a sufficient length of time for the bench press and that the athlete also meets a sufficient depth for the squat.
The event started off on Saturday morning with the Olympic weightlifting segment featuring the men’s U-77kg category. Competition was extremely tight with all top three contenders tied in the clean and jerk lift. However, Goi Si Han edged out the competition with a snatch of 92kg to clinch the gold medal. This feat is especially impressive considering the significant amount of training time Si Han had to sacrifice because of the birth of his first child.
In the women’s open category, Olivia Xu Lin debuted with an impressive total of 121kg to emerge first. A jubilant Olivia hopes that her victory can help stir up more interest amongst females for the sport of weightlifting.
The winner of the men’s U-85kg category was Ng Choon Yeow. The youngest lifter at the age 20, Choon Yeow distinguished himself from the competition with a 17kg difference in total weight lifted.
Lewis Chua then defended his heavyweight crown when he lifted an unmatched total of 288kg.
The limelight then shifted to the powerlifters in the men’s U-74kg and men’s over-120kg categories.
Derrick Kim, the defending champion of the most-contested category, the men’s U-74kg, deadlifted an astounding 280kg with a bodyweight of 72.75kg to defend his two titles – best deadlift strength ratio and best male weightlifter. He topped the charts with a Wilk’s score of 444.18.
Nelson Chui, one of the largest lifters at the meet, was a sight to behold. Hailing from Malaysia’s Core Fitness Gym, the gentle giant lifted a total of 685kg with a bodyweight of 141.8kg, to earn himself the gold medal in the men’s over-120kg weight class.
The first event of the second day of the National Strength Sports Classic featured a combination of four lightweight categories. Han Wen Hui lifted a total of 253 kg to win the women’s U-52kg event while Jackie Li managed 248kg to capture the under-57kg category.
In the men’s U-59kg, debutant Randy Loke posted an impressive total of 377kg to win while another first-timer, Michael Alan, hit 455kg to win the U-66kg category. Randy also won second spot in the top deadlift ratio competition when he deadlifted 182kg with a bodyweight of 55.95kg.
Sonia Gan (305kg), Ip Wing Yuk (265kg) and Jolene Xie (319kg) were the respective champions in the U-63kg, U-72kg and U-84kg categories respectively. In addition, Sonia Gan received the Best Female Lifter award with a Wilkscore of 333.21, no doubt sealed by her impressive deadlift of 147kg.
The final showdown of the remaining male weight classes ensued. Sean Muir won the U-83kg event with a weight total of 600kg, while Lance Lau Jue Hua was the U-93kg winner with a 600kg total as well. Irving Scott Henson amassed 570kg to top the U-105kg category while Darren Low was the champion of the U-120kg category with a 645kg total.
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