Image Credit [Whitelightsmediauk]
Kieran Gray, Captain of Leeds’ Powerlifting and Weightlifting Society, took another medal at the European Championships in Lithuania.
Despite the rapid turnaround from his last national competition a month earlier, Kieran was able to make a quick recovery, which was apparent on the platform.
He won the bronze medal for squatting 305kg at 120kg bodyweight, silver for bench pressing 212.5kg (after reporting how light his first two bench press attempts felt) and won the bronze medal for an overall total of 827.5kg.
Gray would also have finished in second for the overall lifts if his grip did not let him down on his last deadlift. Given that his opening deadlift did not feel the best, he consulted his coach on dropping the weight of his second attempt from 317.5kg to 310kg. Thereafter, Kieran was tempted to go for a higher deadlift to win the overall silver medal.
Attempting a massive 330kg deadlift for an additional gold medal, he almost managed to complete the lift until he felt the bar sliding out his right hand, which in turn made it increasingly difficult to lock out his right knee.
In the rules of powerlifting, a lift is only complete when the athlete is standing straight with his/her shoulders behind the bar and with no bend in the knees or hips.
However, the day still ended with young Kieran standing third on the podium, having proudly represented the UK and Leeds Powerlifting and Weightlifting Society.
Regarding his performance, Kieran said that he is happy yet unsatisfied with his performance despite his excellent achievements. He hit a personal best on the bench press and plans to push his strength to a whopping 220kg bench press by February.
Although Gray was up against international competitors such as Sweden’s Mehmet Kaya and Ukraine’s Dmytro Vovk, both of whom beat Kieran in the 2018 World Championships, Kieran is confident that he will be back next year. His only goal from now on is to focus on the 2019 World Championships, eat his steak and do the required recovery work. He is sure that such efforts will position him strongly in June 2019.
Women’s team captain, Chloe Dickinson, also had success in competition, placing second at the Women’s Junior Classics, a national competition last autumn. Dickinson weighed in at a shy 47kg yet confidently squatted 85kg, bench pressed 47.5kg and deadlifted 105kg. Chloe now wishes to move up to the next weight class (52kg) as she competes as a senior lifter this year.
Another accomplishment comes in the form of Max Guo, a fairly new club member, who recently competed at the YNEPF Winter Open under the expertise of Chloe Dickinson. At only 18 years of age and under 74kg bodyweight, his personal bests are 200kg squat, 133.5kg bench press and a 225kg deadlift. Guo’s performance qualified him for the next level of competition – British Juniors Championship.
Overall, the club is preparing teams for the upcoming British and Northern University competitions in 2019, in which training and programming will be supported by the club. The club has grown massively over the last few years, coming to the point where Leeds Powerlifting and Weightlifting Society can support future athletes wishing to compete and to even become powerlifting coaches themselves. This will only benefit the club and aid in the future development of all Leeds powerlifters.
For more information regarding the club, visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ LeedsLiftSoc/ or check out our Instagram @ leedsliftsoc.