Athletes do heavy lifting

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Central Otago power-lifters are raising the bar.

Alexandra-based athletes Tania McEwan and Garry Bruce both recently competed in the Otago Provincial Championships for power-lifting, a bench only competition, and claimed accolades for their efforts.

McEwan was first in the open female section after lifting 80kg. Bruce was first in the masters grade and set a new bench record at 103.5kg at the Dunedin event.

McEwan embraced the sport after learning about it through her crossfit trainer, Heather Breen, and has not looked back.

Even her recent pregnancy did not get in the way of her desire to keep training.

“I gave birth six months ago,” she said.

“My first competition was just before I got pregnant. We practised all the time I was pregnant, then got back into competitions after six months [of having my son],” she said.

“That was the real win for me,” she said, of her quick return to the sport.

Bruce, who started lifting in the 1980s, retired in 2010 before making a return to the sport in more recent years.

He has broken six records in various grades, most recently a bench only record at the provincials, which was initially set at 100kg.

While he aimed to achieve good results, he was also keen to raise awareness of the sport and get more people involved, including those who wanted to use it as part of their training for other sports.

“More and more people are getting into it,” he said.

Power-lifting is based on three disciplines: squat, bench and dead lift. The totals are added up to give competitors their placing.

The difference between power-lifting and weight-lifting is the style.

In power-lifting, weights are not lifted above the head, unlike in weight-lifting.

ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz