They’ve got the power!
Wednesday 30th August 2017 @ 11:47 by Mark Phillip

Two members of the Olympic Sports Gym powerlifting team travelled up to Carlisle for the Cumbria Championships earlier this month and returned with a string of new records.

Although Jo Whiteley is a masters lifter and Lucy Jackson is a junior lifter, the competition was open age class so they both competed together.

Jo, from Hadfield, got off to a shaky start with a technical fail on her first squat and Lucy suffered a similar fate on her second. Nevertheless, both ladies rallied and Jo finished on 166kg for a NW record in both Masters 1 and open age classes and Lucy squatted 150kg for a junior NW record. Both were well ahead of the field already going into bench.

Jo in action (picture: Lift Daily)

Jo, 48, didn’t do so well on bench, only getting her opener of 80kg. Lucy fared better, nailing a PB and new NW junior record of 75kg. At sub-total, the OSG Ladies’ Team were more than 25kg clear of the field.

Deadlifts went brilliantly with both ladies getting all three deadlifts in. Lucy broke the NW junior record with her second lift of 165kg and then proceeded to absolutely smash it to pieces with an incredible final pull of 180kg – just a little shy of 400lbs. Jo took the Masters 1 and open age class records in deadlift with a mighty pull of 186kg.

Jo ended the day with an (unofficial) British record total of 432kg which puts her into the top 10 on the all time, all fed rankings. She won her class and she also won the Champion of Champions award which is given to the lifter with the highest wilks points (a coefficient designed to compare lifters across weight classes).

Lucy finished with a NW junior record total of 405kg, 2nd in class behind Jo and nearly 70kg ahead of the 3rd placed lifter.

Reflecting on the achievements, Jo said she was happy with the way things went – especially given the circumstances which affected her training prior to the event: “My competition prep was badly affected by an accident at a competition when a bottle of ammonia exploded in my hand and I suffered ammonia burns to the eyes” said Jo.

Squat heavy: Jo takes to the platform (picture: Lift Daily)

“This was only 2 weeks before I was due to compete and the shock of it really knocked me for six.

“I missed a fair bit of training at a crucial time so I was pretty nervous as to how it would go, especially as I didn’t have my coach Tom with me. “Even now I get very nervous before I go out for my first lift and, true to form, I felt sick waiting to be called to the platform.

“I think this contributed to me missing my first lift. It wasn’t a strength failure, I just tipped forward a little bit and the bar dipped a little. This isn’t allowed in powerlifting, the bar must travel upwards all the way so I failed the lift and had to take it again”.

“This was disappointing as I had hoped that I would exceed the British squat record with my 3rd lift at 171kg. However, I took my opener of 157.5kg again to be safe. Failing 82.5kg bench twice was shocking if I’m honest.

“My best bench press to date is 87.5kg and I have pressed 82.5kg many times. The first one just wouldn’t go up and I jumped the press command on the third.

“However, deadlifts worked out very well and I was pleased to pull a lifetime PB of 186kg”.

Despite the achievements, Jo said the competition overall was a little disappointing, although she hopes to put things right at the next event: “I came away with a PB total, 3 new NW Masters records and 2 NW open class records.

“I missed the open class total record by only 1.5kg. So close. I’ll definitely get it next time”.