This year's World Classic Bench Press Championships was a huge success - The largest ever since we added the classic bench press to the IPF Calendar with 668 lifters with 343 Women and 425 Men. The Championship was held in the city of Vantaa, Finland, which is located near the airport. Transport from the airport to the hotel took only 10 minutes to the headquarters hotel.
The venue was first class with fully equipped Eleiko stations for both the competition platform and in the warm-up area. A standard that should be used for all of our world championships. The largest contingent of lifters were the Masters and the smallest were the Sub-junior lifters. On Monday, we started with the Masters lifters and ended on Wednesday. Thursday we held the Sub-junior competition and Friday the Junior Championship and Open Women. We ended on Saturday with the Men's Open Championship. On Saturday afternoon, the largest crowd for the competition was in attendance to come and see the heavyweight men. Overall, there were some great fights with some placings decided by .5 kg. The comradery between the athletes and member federations was exceptional. I want to personally thank the lifters, coaches, referees and the organizing committee for great competition!
Once more, there were large teams in attendance that had no referee - this must stop and we will address this matter in our next EC Meeting. Member Federations must send a referee to support the championships.
To close, once more, I want to personally thank the Finnish Powerlifting Federation and the Meet Director Kaj Mattila and his entire team for their great job and their for warm hospitality. The lifters have enjoyed the championships and thanked us for our work. It is our goal to provide the best championships possible. We hope you had all a safe trip back home and look forward to see everyone in Japan.