Positive performances and new talent were on show at the Australian Para-powerlifting Championships over the weekend, only 10 months ahead of Gold Coast 2018.

Competing in the 80kg class in Brisbane, experienced GC2018 Sport Ambassador Leigh Skinner took the title for the second year in a row and is on his way back to career best form with a lift of 157kg.

Leigh said his goal was to claim gold and lift between 155kg and 160kg.

“The lift felt easy so I’m very happy.

My aspirational goal for GC2018 would be a lift of 185kg to 190kg, this would have me in the mix for a medal at the Commonwealth Games. I’m looking forward to the hard work ahead.”

The performance by the Gold Coaster comes off the back of a fourth place (140kg) at the recent World Cup event in Hungary. His first international competition in three years, due to illness and injury, Leigh showed he is on track for a strong showing at the Mexico City 2017 World Para-powerlifting Championships this September.

Second in the men’s event was Victorian Rod Watson who lifted 137kg in the 88kg class, with state compatriot Nic Larianow (147kg in the 107+kg class) taking bronze.

Para-powerlifting allows for lifters in different body weight categories to compete against each other, using the A.H Forumla (based on lifters’ actual body weights) to determine final placings.

This year saw five women competing at the Australian Championships for the first time in over 15 years and the lifting was impressive with two new women’s national records.

Victorian Jessica Gray competing in the 73kg class broke the Australian record three times, finishing with a best lift of 87kg.

New South Wales’s Cristine Ashcroft also set a new Australian record for the 86+kg class of 77kg, in placing second overall. Fellow New South Wales lifter Janel Manns, who has only recently taken up Para Powerlifting placed third, lifting 55kg in the 61kg class.

Para Powerlifting will be held at the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre in Carrara over three sessions on Tuesday, 10 April 2018.

By Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association

Posted: 31/5/2017