By Franklin Wilson
Despite bringing off two fund raisers to date, team members of the Guyana Amateur
Powerlifting Federation (GAPF) are still doing their best to rake in enough that will ensure the federation sends it full 22-member team to this year’s NAPF/Caribbean and NAPF/FESUPO Powerlifting Championships in Orlando Florida from July 3-8, next.
Working overtime to ensure that they are part of the team that will be aiming to win the Overall Team title once again are two of Guyana’s most decorated athletes in this sport, ‘Big’ John Edwards who trains out of Space Gym and Winston ‘Little Master’ Stoby, a member of the Kingsrow Barbel Club.
Speaking with Kaieteur Sport, both Edwards and Stoby said they are excited to once again be given the opportunity to represent the Golden Arrowhead and are training rigidly to ensure that Guyana maintains its winning edge against the best powerlifters in the Caribbean and North America.
Both have also stated that it is a challenge to raise the requisite funds to take care of their airfare, accommodation and meals whilst in Florida but they are not giving up as this is nothing new to them.
Stoby commented: “I have always been battling over the years to raise monies to travel and represent my country since not only myself but other athletes train and work hard every day to get the chance to represent at the highest level. This year is no different but we all will give it our best shot.”
Set to compete in the Masters 2 74kg class, Stoby reminded that he has tasted championship glory at the Pan American, North American and Caribbean levels since he started competing way back in 1993.
”I would be aiming to reclaim the deadlift record which I had set at 611kg but it was broken by a Frenchman who upped the standard by 1 ½ lbs. Training has been going according to plans as I am aiming to take care of the opposition and ensure Guyana reclaims the Team title.”
Stoby’s longtime friend and fellow competitor ‘Big’ John Edwards is also in strategic training mode to compete in the Masters 2, 120kg Open, Equipped and Unequipped divisions. The Space Gym athlete reminded that he has brought glory to Guyana in the past and is still on that path to keeping the Golden Arrowhead flying high.
Edwards indicated that he is working towards breaking the current South American Raw records in the 120kg Masters 2 class – Squat 190kg, benchpress 120kg, deadlift 200kg and total 510kg.
Also on his radar are the Commonwealth records in the squat 265kg; benchpress 205kg and total 705kg. Edwards’ main focus though, will be the world benchpress 120kg Raw record which stands at 212.5kg or 467.5lbs.
He reminded that all the Caribbean Masters 1 records are held by him except for the deadlift. Edwards would also be competing in the equipped category.
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