Bomb Squad – Melbourne Uni at the Melbourne Open

A lucky 13 Melbourne Uni lifters took part in the Melbourne Open at new venue Hawthorn Weightlifting Centre. 3 bombed, 10 survived and some of those went down to the line with only 3rd attempt Squat successes. “Never go up after a miss” was one shibboleth finally laid to rest on 11th April 2010.

Best lifter for the Club was 100kg David Jame, hesistant after yet another long enforced lay off. 300 miss, 312.5 miss, 321 good was the result in the Squat, the third an enormous twisting, hard Australian Record, breaking Peter Kyriakos’ eternal Club and National Record.

Minhdonitis (dictionary definition “Minh induced injury financial or physical”) in the elbow kept David to a token 160kg Bench. More angst in the Deadlift, a 315kg best went up, down and up again due to a sewn suit breaking half way, Tokyo tailors are what’s real, not Bundoora thimblers.

Elsewhere in the 100kg class a new market opened up for Titan Australia. Chris Schaerf finally came good with the 207.5kg Bench Press he had threatened to do for a long time, but was short on 3 Squats, painfully close on the third, 280kg and his long-time shirt, now suit, purveyor was ecstatic in waving the tape measure for a custom special even before the red lights were off.

Down in the 82.5kg class the other Original Hard-Gainer Chris Seville also went through trauma but came out on the right side of the lights with an easy 260kg best ever Squat, before moderate benching and deadlifting left Chris 2.5kg short of his best, at a still solid 662.5kg

But further down in the 82.5kg there was even more intense action. Encino Man, revealed as having an alleged name of David Platzer, shattered his personal best and half the Hawthorn furniture with a 600kg total. Can “Dave” improve to the 650/660 needed to sneak a place at the Nationals? Does P.A.’s insurance policy cover structural building damage? These questions will be answered at Rydges Hotel on July 24th.

Meanwhile Simon the Likeable’s usual charm failed to work on the Referees on 3 very choppy Squats, but he was still well above his best on those (almost) Squats, the Bench and the Deadlift.

Outside these two hotspot classes of the 100’s and 82.5’s there were the usual psychodramas of triumph and tragedy. From the bottom up, Minh was all at sea at 67.5, the Flanagan Family improved in their second contest and bests came from bencher Greg Peiris and both of the vegetarian fraternity, Andrew Clark and Noah Hannibal. Newcomers were Andrew Kirkilis, struggling with a genetic burden (remember Joel Kirkilis?) and Wei Chui at 75kg. Malaysian Wei is the Anti-Darren (i.e. he’s poor, works hard and pays his own bills), has trained 3 times ever and aims to eventually go close to doubling his 372.5kg debut here.

Last but impossible to be least firebrand Fiore Inglese came back after 10 years and his 8th place at the World Championships, with an electrifying 727.5kg, what would have been a Masters record if all was perfect in the world. 765kg or bust is Fiore’s target now, but if it’s bust it will be a spectacular one.

And those were the Club’s most experienced and stable lifters. Look out Mannum at the Australian Juniors in May, when Melbourne Uni’s even zanier B team will be unleashed.

– Robert Wilks

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