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I competed in Melbourne, Australia the first weekend in April in the IPF Invitational Classic (RAW) Pacific Cup. This marked the 2nd time that I have made the long journey down under. This year the meet was a featured sport of the Australian Health and Fitness Expo (FILEX) at the Melbourne Convention Center. The Expo was well attended over 3 days with an estimated 50,000 visitors. This made for a very big audience at the powerlifting events with well more than 1000 spectators watching the Pacific Cup. FILEX is similar in format to the Arnold Sports Festival, just on a little smaller scale. There were a lot of vendors in the expo hall primarily representing the sports supplement industry, personal trainers and fitness equipment manufacturers. In addition to powerlifting I watched Boxing, Jiu-jitso, and CrossFit. The FILEX expo is a great event that only looks to expand in popularity over the years.
On Saturday I competed with fellow USAPL newcomer Ray Williams. This was only Ray’s 5th powerlifting competition and his first appearance on an IPF platform. This being said Ray has been hitting some huge numbers. A big performance was greatly anticipated. Ray did not disappoint. He squatted an amazing 903-pounds IPF World Record. This he followed up with a huge 529-pound bench. He finished with a 705-pound deadlift smashing the IPF World Record Total by 66 pounds. Ray is the most promising strength athlete that I have seen in my 25 years in the sport. I look for him to go over a 1000 kg total in the near future.
With a lot of travel commitments this year in mind, I made a rookie mistake. I flew in late and only had 2 days to recover. I soon found that this did not provide for adequate recovery from the 16-hour flight from LAX to Melbourne. On the day of the meet I still felt very stiff and lethargic. I struggled with hip and back pain warming up in the squat and lowered my expectations… finishing with a 672-pound squat. My bench went well and I ended up with an IPF Masters World Record 518-pounds. The real trouble came in the deadlift. Deadlifting usually comes very easy for me. It is the time of the meet when I know that I can turn around a sub-par day. I was very stiff warming up and I could not get in good position to pull. I opened up with an ugly 760-pounds, which allowed me to set an IPF Masters World Record Total. I selected 804-pounds for my next attempt. I am usually very confident with this weight, as I have not missed an 804 deadlift in 20 years. It was not to be, and I had to set it down at the knees…passing on my 3rd attempt. This dropped me into 3rd behind last year’s IPF Bronze Medalist Ueppa Jezza from the small island country of Nauru. Veteran lifter and 2012 IPF Bronze Medalist Stephen Pritchard finished in 4th. Even though my performance was a little down it was still a great trip and a real honor to be invited to this prestigious contest. A big thanks goes out to Powerlifting Australia!!!
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