That Asian Strength

This year, two Asian lifters made waves on social media as both came out as the champion in their respective weight categories against their well-seasoned competitor.

Anuar Ulan of Kazakhstan showed the world that the game is not over until it is over. Ulan won by a mere 1.5kgs over Brett Gibbs, the obvious winner during nominations. Through carefully selected attempts and performing 9/9 during the World Classic Championship, Anuar Ulan became this year’s 83-kg Men Open World Champion. Moreover, he has proven again that he is not only competitive in classic but also in equipped as he came in second for the 83-kg Men Open World Equipped Championship.

On the other hand, in the recently concluded, World Open Equipped Championship, Widari Widari, won by 2.5kg against fellow Asian, Yukako Fukushima. Widari was only able to do one successful attempt for her squat and had timed out on her last attempt on the benchpress(a World record attempt on the record she set earlier in the year during the Asian Men and Women Championship in her home country). Her last deadlift(180kg) made it possible for her to bag the 47-kg World Champion on her debut on the World platform. 

Fukushima though, had also had a good year as prior to this championship, she garnered the silver spot for the women’s lightweight division at the World Games in Wroclaw this year. Along with her, another Asian woman who had always dominated the lightweight division, Chen Wei-Lin got the bronze spot. The achievement of these women continues to prove that Asian women definitely rules the lightweight division.


Most notable is Wu Hui-Chun of TPE who had been to 4 international competitions this year. Came out the Asian champion for 57-kg Women Open, ranked 4th at the World Classic, bagged a bronze for the middle weight division during the World Games and finished off this year on the second spot in the World Equipped Championship. Leslie Evangelista of PHI, Asian champion for 52-kg went on to the World Classic and came out 5th in the 47-kg Women Open.

Japan subjuniors are proving that JPN is not just a benchpress nation as Onishi Shoko got silver for 57-kg and set the WR for squat and Nomura Yu placed third for the 63-kg. 

Whilst Maduba Kazusa got gold for the 72-kg Junior division.

Kazakhstan junior lifters also made waves with a WR(sub-junior) for benchpress by Zhurbina Anastassiya in the 63-kg category while Okatenko Xeniya won the title for Junior 84+ weight category. All these during the World Classsic Championship in Belarus.


The international audience this year also saw several records being broken by Asians across all ages.

Exemplary performance for TPE’s junior Lin Yi Chun who competes in the Open category whilst setting WR in squat and total for classic and the deadlift WR for equipped. 

Other Asian nations also further proves that the Asians are worthy to watch for on the world platform. Japan, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Mongolia and Indonesia have all fielded lifters that broke WRs in each of the three lifts and for the total.

Asian strength is indeed at its best as 2017 data proved that in and out of the World Championships, Asians break world records at regional events. At the Asian Benchpress Championship in Manila, 4 WR for benchpress were set by lifters from Japan and Mongolia. During the Asian championship in Indonesia, three WR have also been set.


 Japan continues to prove that they are the benchpress nation as they swept all the Gold medal  from 59 to 83kg in this year’s World Equipped Benchpress in Lithuania as well as in the 66kg and 74kg World Classic. Of course, it is to be noted that Daiki Kodama was also inducted to the Hall of Fame and is the only lifter inducted who lifts in the benchpress event only.

Kazakhstan and Mongolia are also proving that Japan is not the only nation in Asia who can claim expertise in the benchpress. 

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