President of the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPF) Peter Green has described the just concluded National
Championships a great success despite the fact fewer lifters than attracted previous years.
A few of the prominent lifters including 2014 Caribbean gold medalist Germaine Snagg and six-time Caribbean gold medalist Randolph ‘The Accomplisher’ Morgan were not present, but the quality of the competition was not compromised with Berbician Vijai Rahim of Hardcore Gym successfully defending his Overall Title.
Rahim’s gym, located at Rosignol was also named the top gym of the championship, while the Female Overall winner was Chloe Hunter of Life Gym. Rahim competed in the 66kg division which he won by achieving a best squat of 262.5kgs, bench press 147.5kgs and deadlift of 272.5kgs for a total of 682.5kgs.
Hunter won the 57kgs class with a total of 312.5kgs (115kgs squat; 62.5kgs bench press; 135kgs deadlift).
Green shared the view that the overall performances by the majority of the lifters has given the federation encouragement to continue to foster the growth of the sport in Guyana as new faces and talent have come to the fore to continue the legacy that began when just two lifters represented the Nation in 2008 as compared to the present.
At seniors, outstanding performances were recorded by Under-18 lifter Kevin Bridgelall returning to competitive action after a brief absence to capture the Open 59kgs class.
Former Sub-Junior, Junior and Open 59kg champion now campaigning in the 66kg class, Vijai Rahim recorded an astonishing total of 682.5kgs which has bettered the current winner of this year’s World junior Championships total of 670 as well as bettered the current Commonwealth record total of 562.5kgs.
Green informed that Rahim’s final year as a junior is 2015 and will need the support of the Country in his quest to become a World Junior champion as well as Commonwealth champion and record holder.
“There is literally no opposition to him in his category at the Caribbean and Pan American levels. The federation has approached CRADO and Government representative Mr. Alfred King for assistance in carrying out stringent testing to Rahim and two others to be identified as it strives to prevent a costly repeat of the Shewdas incident. This year’s Caribbean gold medalists Marino Jeffrey and Osmond Mack proved their performances were not a fluke in repelling challenges mounted.”
Green shared his views on the female segment of the competition which attracted three competitors.
“The female segment despite being less in numbers than before was highly entertaining with not much separating the two gifted and technically correct lifters in the 57kg class Chloe Hunter and Andrea Smith. Natoya Robinson in the 84+kg Heavyweight category had to battle her own total in racking up an impressive total of 452.5kgs which was similar to that of NAPF Regional and Caribbean Champion /Sportswoman of the year Dawn Barker when she took to the stage three years ago.
It is only a matter of time before these lifters achieve similar greatness once prepared to work hard.”
Like many of the other sports, female participation continues to be a challenge, Green stated that the GAPF is cognizant of this fact and will be putting measures in place to change this around.
“We will be organizing more awareness and introductory programs for the females with a view to encouraging wider participation. Gyms are also being encouraged to place more emphasis on female participation.
Raw/Classic Powerlifting (unequipped) will be making its debut in 2015 for both male and female along with single lifts such as bench pressing. With the hosting of the 2015 Caribbean championships right here in Guyana and the federation will be giving those female lifters who missed this year’s seniors an opportunity to make the female open team by guest lifting at the 2015 Novices and Junior championships on January 25.”
Given that the senior championship was the final competition for the GAPF this year, Green sought to briefly summarize the sports performance.
“This year proved to be an extremely challenging and conservative one for us. Locally, we continued to maintain our goals of providing healthy competition for the lifters at all ages by hosting and attracting reasonable entry numbers to the Novices (First timers), Sub Juniors (18 and under), Juniors (23 and Under), Masters (40 and over) and Open (All ages).
Internationally the Federation assisted self-sponsored lifters to attend the 2014 Caribbean Championships where we lost the team title to arch rivals Puerto Rico which fielded a full strength team as compared to the mainly development team led by senior national Karel Mars that we sent. All six lifters were able to medal with gold achieved by Osmond Mack 74kg, Germaine Snagg 83kg and Marino Jeffrey 93kg. Silver medals came from Paul Adams 74kg and Karel Mars 105kg and solitary bronze medal from Erlyn Smith 83kg.”
Financially, Green shared that the federation has managed to dig itself out of the deep hole created by the fine of $2,500 EUROS imposed on National lifter Gumendra Shewdas of Berbice who contributed towards the repayment.
“While still not clear of all debts, we expect that the federation would be solvent in time for the 2015 Caribbean Championships.”
Looking ahead top 2015, Green gave an insight to some of the competitions that are on the cards.
1. Raw/Classic (Unequipped) competitions to be introduced.
2. Single lifts/Double lifts competitions to be introduced (i.e. Bench press single, Deadlift and Bench press combined).
3. Visually Impaired Powerlifting with a view to competing at Special Olympics (a group of visually impaired or totally blind). Interested members from the Blind Society have already been interviewed and will shortly commence training under the watchful eyes of experienced volunteer lifters and members of the National team.
1. Caribbean Championships – Georgetown Guyana March 19th – 22nd.
2. Pan American and South American Championships – Ribeirao Brazil September 3rd – 6th.
3. Commonwealth Championships – Vancouver Canada November 30th – December 6th.
1. World Junior Championships – Prague Czech Republic August 31st – September 6th where Vijai Rahim will represent Guyana.
2. World Masters Championships – Aurora Denver USA September 28th – October 4th where Winston Stoby will represent.
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