Power Lifting set for best year ever in 2010
Hosting of 4th Annual Caribbean PL & Bench Press C/ships to be high point
By Franklin Wilson
Ever since assuming the Presidency of the Guyana Amateur Power Lifting Federation back in 2008, the sport has been growing from strength to strength.
Peter Green took over the helm of the Federation from then President ‘Big’ John Edwards since it was his view that athletes should focus on the sport and not be bugged down by the administration and the rest is history.
The sport has been growing leaps and bounds in the past two years and is set to meet its highest point ever here when the Guyana Amateur Power Lifting Federation hosts the 4th edition of the Caribbean Power Lifting and Bench Press Championships from March 18 – 20.
Apart from going all out to medal individually, the Guyana team, which is expected to comprise of 15 Lifters, will certainly be going all out to capture the overall team title, an accolade which has missed us due to the small number of athletes the GAPLF is forced to travel with overseas due to financial constraints.
The Guyanese team is also expected to compete at the Central American and Caribbean Games and Regional Power Lifting Championships in Puerto Rico in July. The local body is leaving no stones unturned and has already released the names of 17 athletes who have already commenced training.
The platform is in place and it is now up to the athletes and committed executive members to solidify Guyana’s position at the Regional and World levels.
2009 in Retrospect
3rd Annual IPF/NAPF Caribbean PL & Bench Press Championships
Looking back briefly at 2009, the local power men have shown that ever since our return to the Regional and International scenes, we have what it takes to beat the best in the world. Our top three Lifters have represented us with flying colours and kept the Golden Arrowhead aloft at competitions in North, South and Central America and the Caribbean.
At the 3rd Annual IPF/NAPF Caribbean Power Lifting and Bench Press Championships held in the US Virgin Islands in April last, Randolph Morgan, competing for the first time at this level, did himself and country proud by capturing the overall title of Caribbean Best lifter after taking the gold medal in his weight class of (82.5kg).
‘Big’ John Edwards competing in the 125kg class was again his convincing self when he captured the Men’s open and masters M1 categories. Edwards, also set two new North American records at the squat (340.kg) and an overall total of 837 kg in the M1 category.
Unfortunately at this meet, Reigning Mr. Guyana Mervin ‘Spongy’ Moses (75kg class) was disqualified at this meet in controversial circumstances during the bench press competition.
7th Annual IPF/ NAPF Regional PL & Bench Press Championships
Over 23 countries competed at these championships which took place in Miami in August where Guyana recorded 100% success, all three lifters capturing gold medals as Guyana placed 5th out of 23 countries tallying 36 points to winners USA’s 72 which was achieved with a total of 37 lifters.
Moses was unstoppable with his performances in the 75kg category by setting new Regional records in the squat (297.5kg) and overall total of 750kg.
Morgan took gold in the squat while Edwards in the 125kg division took gold in both the men’s open and masters M1 whilst setting a new squat record of 342kg in the masters M1 and overall total of 855kg.
On the back of his performances at this meet, Edwards has the distinction of being the only Guyanese to ever hold Caribbean and Regional records in two individual lifts as well as the overall total in his category. Edwards is the holder of the Bench press record of 227kg which was achieved in Aruba in 2008.
12th NAPF / FESUPO Pan
American PL Championships
Held every two years and considered the Premier Championship of the Caribbean, North, South and Central America attracting over 300 lifters, Guyana again took 3 gold medals along with one silver.
Moses took silver behind an Ecuadorian lifter; Morgan turned the tables when he defeated an Ecuadorian to take gold while Edwards powered his way to gold in the Men’s open and Masters M1 in their respective weight divisions.
Apart from being outstanding at all levels, ‘Big’ John Edwards also holds the distinction of being the most tested lifter from Guyana having been tested at all three championships in 2009 and one in 2008 by WADA with negative results at all.
On the local scene, the lifters have all been holding their own with the Federation hosting successful Novice (March), Intermediate/Claude Charles Memorial (July) and Senior Championships (October) all sponsored by Banks DIH Limited/Power Stout.
A number of records were rewritten at these championships which saw lifters from Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo excelling.
Also turning in some exciting performances at this level were the young Berbice lifters, 17 year-old Vijay Rahim who seems destined for international glory, the Immamdeen brothers Tariq and Wazeem and Anis Ade Thomas. Along with the likes of Paul Adams, Kelvin Lewis, Mohamed Rossan, Ryan Williams and Karel Mars, they are all talented and once focused, will all do Guyana proud.
The lone Essequibian, Mark Seymour has become a force to reckon with ever since being introduced to the sport and is expected to do well at the regional level.
The veterans are also expected to hold their own; Bhojkumar Jagnarine, Farouk Abdool, Winston Stoby and Errol ‘Big Man’ Henry are all expected to shine at the Regional Championships.
The Federation also hosted two high ranking officials in Secretary General of the North American Powerlifting Federation (NAPF) and IPF Category One Referee Robert Keller along with IPF Category Two Referee Mike Licciardi who also sits on the NAPF’s Technical Committee.
The two conducted a high level Referees clinic which was held at the Princess Hotel, Providence, East Bank Demerara. They also took the opportunity to inspect a number of venues which were suggested for the hosting of this year’s Regional Championships.
With the support of the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport, the Federation acquired a new set of IPF approved championship IVANKO weights and bar totaling 850 pounds. They local body also purchased an IPF approved ER Equipment Rack and Bench Press stand directly from the manufactures in Denmark.
Prior to what would be the historical hosting of the Regional Championships, The Annual General Meeting of the Federation is set for Sunday January 17, 2010 at the Tropical View International Hotel, Delph Street, Campbellville.
High on the agenda will be the election of office bearers apart from the usual reports by the President, Secretary, Treasurer and Auditor. The GAPLF’s Annual Awards Ceremony will be held after the AGM.