We kicked off the World Classic Powerlifting Championships in Sun City, South Africa with the 59kg men. It was a small class but packed with action.
Mohamed Lakehal of Algeria took an early lead, opening with 210kg and took the M1 squat world record with a tough looking 215kg for his second. Antoine Garcia of France, at a lighter bodyweight, tried to come past with 215kg but missed it twice. Takaharu Ebihara of Japan showed great technique and took the bronze with 200kg.
Ebihara looked superb on bench with 130kg and then 135kg so it was a surprise when he missed 140kg on his third. Canada’s Benjamin Yu struggled however. With the joint biggest opener, he couldn’t keep his butt on the bench and missed 130kg twice, giving us all a fright. He managed to correct it on his third however and netted the bench silver. Iran’s Mehrdad Zafari was the only lifter to get all three benches in, moving himself into third place overall at sub-total.
Going into deadlift, Ebihara was 7.5kg ahead but Garcia took the lead by a small margin when he absolutely smoked his 220kg opener. Both added 10kg on their second attempts and gave us an interesting situation, both being exactly the same bodyweight. In this case, if both lifters post the same total, it cannot go on bodyweight so it’s the first lifter to make the total that takes the win. With some game play on 3rd attempts, Ebihara eventually came out for an M1 world record attempt of 235kg but couldn’t quite make it. Already the world champion, Garcia took 237.5kg for a French national record and made it look like an opener.
A great session to lead us in to what promises to be a phenomenal competition.