The 2022 Classic Powerlifting World Championships were held in the glorious surroundings of Sun City, South Africa. Large groups of banded mongoose played on the grass around the venue and vervet monkeys watched us from the trees. It was a long journey for many but so worth the trip.
111 women and 127 men from 42 countries competed in action packed event. World records were broken 87 times – 46 of them in the open category and we saw the biggest female raw deadlift in IPF history.
Tiffany Chapon at only 20 years old putting up the biggest total we’ve ever seen in the 47s. The squat world record changing hands five times in the 52kg class. Chance Mitchell not allowing failure to derail his world title charge. Jade Jacob, pushing Joy Nnamani to pull her second world record deadlift of the day to win by only half a kilo. Asein Enahoro obliterating the deadlift world record in the 83s and coming within a whisker of pulling 385kg for the win. The entire 63kg podium being decided on bodyweight. David Ricks at 62 years old attempting the open squat world record. Jessica Buettner pulling the biggest raw deadlift in the IPF to beat Agata Sitko on bodyweight – and Sitko cheering her on from the crowd while she did it. Emil Norling pulling the biggest deadlift of the competition for the world title.
Familiar faces made it to the top step of the podium for the first time – at last! New faces emerged victorious and several young lifters made their mark and gave us a glimpse of how bright is the future of classic powerlifting in the IPF. 29 lifters scored over 110 GL points, by far the most we have ever seen at this competition, showing the constantly rising standard of lifting. So many podium places were decided on bodyweight or by a handful of kilos – the battles were fierce and intense and we loved them.
Of course there was heartache as well as triumph – there always is in sport. Not everyone gets to be world champion – not everybody gets to take a world record. Reigning world champions were defeated, hot favourites underperformed. But we know that will only make them hungrier than ever before and, when we all meet again in Valetta, Malta next year, it will make the competition that much more exciting.
Until then, we offer our thanks to the South African Powerlifting Federation for hosting us in their beautiful country, the coaches and officials for making the long journey and, of course, the athletes for giving us the most exciting and closely fought championships we can remember.