Who said “Raw’s for losers”, that was Minh wasn’t it? 100 lifters were at the second ever Australian Raw Championships, 20 of them from Melbourne Uni, including all our best and guess which club won both the team trophies? Raw has arrived and the writing is on the wall for equipped.
Friday night the Women began the marathon comp. Dr Alice kept her dignity and vertebrae intact in her last ever attempt at sumo and totalled 275kg for second at 63kg, while Catherine “Laughing Girl” Greene thrashed her non-existent opposition at 84kg with a stone-faced 330kg. Way up at 84+++ Katie Potatie was revelatory with easy best Squats and Deadlifts and a 390kg Total. 1st, 1st and 3rd was 32 points and the team title for Melbourne Uni.
Next was the Bench Press. Our best lifter there was Dr Strange, Peter Lange, 150kg at 83kg, as he does every night of the week. Max Riebl is another one different from you and I, 165kg at 105kg, being merely a hint of what could be. And not to forget Sean Connelly’s 102.5kg PB, finally finding a use for the “special” boots Minh sold him.
Another special category was the Australian Blind Championships. In the last year of Equipped for the Blind Peks Nanai was way out in front, with bests in the Squat, Deadlift and Total, 290, 290 and 800kg. A shoulder injury kept Peks’ Bench down to 220, but 830-850 will be the total he will be going for at the World Championships in Orlando in July.
On to the Men’s Nationals and unbeknownst to younger generations long-time MUWPC member John Leung started things off with a MII 66kg win. At 74kg Neville Harris who acts like he’s MII, found new life with a clear win in the Open, just missing his own Australian Record in the Squat. Only various Fiscal Fiends will prevent Neville from competing in the Worlds in June, but quizzical Russell Gan will be there after taking out the Junior 74kg title.
Next up 83kg. Sceptics in 2010 who said “David Platzer Australian Champion is a fluke” were smug after the Squat but then Amir from Sydney was exposed as a chronic bum-raiser by alert Referees in the Bench, Joel Ridings couldn’t pull the necessary 230kg deadlift and Our Man Platzer was ahead. Except for Chris Seville of course, who showed how much he gets out of a squat suit (217.5 v. 290) and doesn’t get out of a deadlift suit (260 v. 260), with 610kg, winning the class.
Things were then quiet for the Club, until 105kg, when Fiore Inglese re-burst onto the scene with an MI Squat record 243kg, this staggered his nemesis from the 1980s, Lou Cordone, sitting relaxed until then in the front row VIP section. In fact Fiore surpassed Chris Schaerf, flat, as usual, with a 612.5kg he will sure improve on, eventually. Up to 120 and 120+kg and too kind Con Barbakos decided to weigh in at 120.7 and let Joel DiBattista take the 120 title – until Paul MacManus from the West decisively spoiled the fun, 655kg to 620kg. Con meanwhile did 697.5kg, which should be 797.5kg one day.
And then came the big day, Sunday’s Pacific competition. David Jame, word down by training 6kg underweight, illness and labyrinthine business affairs, came through on the day with actually his best ever Raw Total and a 5 minute lasting Deadlift Australian Record. But way out in front, the Best Lifter of the meet, was Club quasi member Stephen Pritchard. 860kg Total Raw was undoubtedly the best Stephen has ever lifted, white lights were everywhere and questions nowhere and he is now ranked 4th going into the Worlds.
But there was more. Foreign guests of the Club Blaine Sumner, Nick Tylutki and Sonia Manaena between them set 3 World Records and attempted 3 others. Blaine’s 400kg Squat was on a par wtih Brad Gillingham’s 397.5kg Deadlift of last year and Nick looked odds on to get the Squat WR, but just fell through the bottom. Sonia missed the Squat WR but kept going and going and got 235.5kg Deadlift up. 1400+ different streaming viewers and a near full house live had gotten their money’s worth.
The treadmill goes on from here. Three Club members will be competing in the Raw Worlds – Russell, Katie and Nghiep Luu who insanely competed in Brisbane the week before and did a World Non-Record 271kg Deadlift. After that we have the Oceania Championships, Raw and Equipped and the best and worst of Melb Uni will be there for another giant event.