The classic men lifted on Day 2 of the Arnold UK and, as the competition was scored on GL points, all the weight classes lifted together.
No surprise that GB’s Jurins Kengamu led the way on squats - he took the squat gold at Classic Worlds this year. 292.5kg looked easy for his second but a British record attempt of 302.5kg was turned down for lack of depth. Fellow Brit, Dylan Nelson, extended his own European squat record in the 74s with 271kg but it was right on the limit and he didn’t come out for his third. Teammate Mo Sulayman was also fighting at the front – he took 310kg for his second squat but it was tough and he missed 320kg for his third.
Sulayman’s bench was on fire though. He smoked 207.5kg for the biggest bench of the day and 5kg more than got him the bench bronze medal at Classic Worlds. This moved him up to 2nd place overall - Kengamu clung to his lead with 177.5kg but the gap was narrowing.
France’s Guillaume Parisot pulled himself up to third with his opening deadlift of 300kg. Kengamu maintained his points lead with a 295kg opener but Sulayman looked in his element and his first pull of 330kg moved with incredible speed. Kengamu looked comfortable with 317.5kg for his second but there was no stopping Sulayman who took an incredible jump up to 367.5kg for his second and, for the first time, moved into the lead.
With 4,500 Euros in prize money hanging in the balance and a huge crowd shouting encouragement, everything came down to the final deadlifts. Of the main contenders, Parisot was the first out. There was little chance of catching the two front runners and he took 320kg for the 1,000 euro 3rd prize.
Kengamu came out to pull 322.5kg for the win. He stood it up but did not fully lock his knees and had to concede. Sulayman, already the 3,000 euro winner, strutted out onto the platform for the biggest deadlift of the day – 372.5kg, the weight that won him a silver deadlift medal and overall bronze in Sun City this year. If anything, it moved easier than his second and he nodded happily at the top before returning the bar to the platform and raising his arms in triumph.
A great finish to a brilliant competition and the crowd roared its approval.