Today saw Joe compete at the British Classic Powerlifting Championships in Dover and it was a truely rocky start for the 18 year old as he missed his first two squats due to depth. Needing his third squat to remain in the competition meant that Joe needed to really focus and make sure nerves and the occasion didn’t ruin his day. Joe secured a lift of 85kg on his third squat to remain in the competition and moved onto more confident ground with the bench press where his first two lifts were good and he attempted to increase his British record on the third attempt with 85kg but this was just to much on the day with all that had gone on so he came away with 82.5kg today. Deadlifts were also much better and he opened with 95kg and increased this to 102.5kg on his second lift. Having now secured the title of British Sub Junior Champion Joe wanted to attempt a 110kg for his final deadlift but it just wasn’t to be. Joe’s final total was 270kg and despite such a shaky start this was only 2.5kg down on his personal best which he set in April of this year which shows how well he could have finished had the start gone a little better and this gives Joe the determination to improve at his next competition.
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Today a team, 5 strong represented Suffolk Spartans at the GBPF 2014 British Classic Bench at Durham Rowing Club.
First in action was Joe Strike, reigning Special Olympics British Champion and Special Olympics Record holder in Bench Press and Squat. Joe managed three good lifts, securing the British under 18 Championships and setting a new under 18 British record in the 59kg class with a final lift of 84kg. After the lifting Joe’s Dad David Strike said “For Joe to hold the British Special Olympic and able-bodied bench press records in his weight class at the same time is a unique honour. I’m not sure who wanted this record more – him or me.”
Up next was the return to national level competition of London 2012 Paralympic Games medallist Zoe Newson. In her own laid back style Zoe casually completed 3 good lifts also gaining 9 out of white lights and equalling the IPF World Classic Bench Press Record with her 3rd attempt of 90kg. She competed in both the junior and open classes and while winning both she also set British records in both classes as well. Zoe was also successfull in achieveing the additional trophy for the best female performer of the competition which in her first national championships is a fantastic achievement and meant she was the most decorated, or greedy member of Spartans with 3 trophies and 2 records herself.
Also in the first group of lifters out was Adam Alderman and in the 59kg class and having struggled recently with a slight shoulder injury he opened with 130kg and increased this to 135kg on his second attempt which was enough to secure the British title. The third attempt of 138kg however was unsuccessful but this was still enough to secure Adam the British Record. Adam was also able to secure an additional trophy, the best male performer on the day which is a huge compliment with the standard of lifting across all the weight groups on the day.
The second group in the competition saw Riccardo Biondi take the stage on his first British Finals and with his opening lift of 106kg he secured the British record in the u20 age category as well as the Junior British title. Riccardo extended this record with his two further attempts of 110kg and 112.5kg but on the day he could only secure a second place in the open category.
Finally representing Suffolk Spartans was Ben Cattermole who competed in the u74kg and as a Junior lifter. Ben took his first lift of 112.5kg comfortably and extended this to secure a personal best lift of 117.5kg on his second lift. His third lift of 120kg was unsuccessful on this occasion but he had already secured a first place and can claim the title of British Junior Bench Press Champion. This will be the 4th time Ben has won the British Bench Press Championship in the last 5 years which is an impressive achievement for any junior lifter.
Spartans Coach Dan Collins said “The results of the lifters today is testament to how hard everyone associated with this club works in training and to how much can be achieved by a small dedicated group of volunteers. Thanks to the GBPF YNE Division for putting on a great competition and a special thank you must go to Chris and Jim for answering all our queries so quickly and making us so welcome.”
Spartans coach Louise Collins said “The results today were outstanding with the quality of lifting from our team being extremely high. All of the Spartans lifters who competed today are hoping to compete abroad in the future and with such performances we look forward to seeing several of them on an international platform soon.”
Today the Suffolk Spartans dispensed with our usual fun competition for an altogether more serious affair by holding a GBPF competition. Being held at the Essex University Sports Center this was a definite step up for the club. Considering the short notice on which this was arranged we were able to welcome 14 lifters to the competition and some were new to GBPF many were also juniors which is fantastic for the future of the sport as all performed well on the day. The standard of lifting generally was high as we saw are only equipped lifter of the day Pinda Singh attempt 280kg.
In true Spartans style we ensured that everyone was able to have a go on the day and so after the formal competition was concluded some of our disabled members along with general audience members came and attempted to lift. It was a great chance for anyone unsure about competing in the GBPF to attempt a lift in front of our newly qualified referees and get some advice.
As a club we have always assessed best lifter with a straight forward % of bodyweight and based on this the best male was Adam Alderman who managed to bench press 150kg which amounted to 292% or nearly 3 times his own bodyweight. The best female lifter went to debutant Zoe Newson who bench pressed a respectable 80kg which was 186% or nearly twice her own bodyweight.
Most improved and best supported lifter has to go to Dan McGauley. We are all really pleased of how well Dan performed at his first competition with lots more to come in the future he has spent a lot of time working on lifting with signals and hopes to be attending the Special Olympic Competitions soon.
Spartans lifters results:
- Zoe Newson – 80kg raw at 43kg bodyweight still a junior.
- Joe Strike – 82.5kg raw at under 59kg bodyweight under 18 (just).
- Dan McGauley – 50kg at under 66kg bodyweight (Special Olympian and making his competition debut).
- Riccardo Biondi – 107.5kg raw at under 66kg under 20 (just).
- Ben Cattermole – 115kg raw at under 74kg still a Junior.
- James Hickey – 82.5kg at under 93kg bodyweight, unlucky not to get his third lift of 90kg due to a foot movement (referee decision was spot on though – sorry James)
We need to say a big thank you to everyone who organised, ran and generally supported the event especially Mike and Sam who loaded which as anyone who has done this role realises it is one of the most tiring.
Attention now turns to the British Finals in September where we hope to have a team of 5 represent Suffolk Spartans (Zoe, Adam, Ben, Riccardo and Joe). It is hoped that we can bring back from this event not just medals but maybe the odd British Record as well. We hope to make this an annual GBPF competition so will let you all know much earlier next year if we are able to run another.
Spartans are to host a GBPF Bench Press Competition on Sunday 6th July in the sports centre at Essex University in Colchester. This will be one of the last chances to qualify for the British Bench Press Championships in September and so we are hoping for plenty of competitors looking to make it the nationals. We already have quite a bit of interest and are expecting to have some exceptional lifting performances on the day.
For those interested in lifting you’ll need to complete and return the Entry Form as soon as possible as there will be a limit to the number of competitors we can accept. For everyone else it will be a fantastic opportunity to come and support people you know or witness local bench pressing at it’s best.
Joe has taken part in the East Midlands Championships today at Moulton College in Northamptonshire and had a tremendous day. He finished with a squat of 87.5kg, a bench press of 80kg and a deadlift of 105kg which has reflected the hard work Joe has been making in the gym recently.
Today at the London Bench Press Championships Riccardo took to the stage in just his second competition and at Bethnal Green he managed to finish the day with a PB of 97.5kg a 10kg increase since October last year. Riccardo’s performance was faultless and he achieved 9 white lights and he is performing well as he looks forward to the British Bench Press in September.
The IPC Invitational was held at Folkestone today and the Spartans had Matt B, Rob and Zoe all take part. Matt had a better day and demonstrated his hard work in the gym with a final lift of 75kg. Robert also managed to improve his personal best to 108kg. Zoe competed in the 41kg class lifting an impressive 91kg which set a new British Record at the lower body weight class.
Also in action today was Joe at the Special Olympics regional competition in Scotland. He performed well and finished with a squat of 85kg, bench press of 77.5kg and a deadlift of 100kg. This shows a continued improvement by Joe as he looks to break records and hopefully be selected for the World Special Olympic Championships.
Suffolk Spartans have recently received funding from the Comic Relief Fund via the Suffolk Community Foundation. This funding has been vital in ensuring the club can continue running for the next year as well as enabling us to run our annual competition this summer and purchase additional equipment that means we can better support those at the club to continue to make the improvements we have seen many make and continue with progress at competitions as well. As a club we are incredibly pleased to have been given this award and are grateful the club will continue running for at least the next year.
Today took to the platform at the regional Special Olympics Championships in Bradford. He produced a stella performance once again and received 9 good lifts and finished with a squat of 85kg a bench press of 75kg and a deadlift of 87.5kg. This gave Joe a total on the day of 247.kg and was a tremendous increase of 17.5kg on his performance at the British Unequipped Championships just a month ago.
We can see that Joe has been training and working really hard and this is really showing in his performance at competitions and such outstanding increases are really justified and we hope they will continue.
Sarah and Ellie are attempting to complete 114 Olympic Sports between London and Rio to see if this can be done.
While Powerlifting officially counts as a Paralympic sport they came to join Suffolk Spartans to attempt this as a bonus event and we were happy to welcome them.
We wish them both all the success in the world in this massive challenge and hope they’ll come back and join us once they have time as they really involved themselves in the club atmosphere which is really a special part of the club.