Worth the weight

Kalamunda Reporter - - Front Page - Com­mu­ni­tynews .com.au Lau­ren Pi­lat

HIGH Wy­combe res­i­dent Ben Wright spends most of his spare time at a bar – not drink­ing, but lift­ing al­most 200kg in prepa­ra­tion for the Com­mon­wealth Games.

The 30-year-old para-pow­er­lifter, who was born with spina bi­fida, has come into con­tention for a gold medal at the Games af­ter he was named the strong­est man in Aus­tralia for his cat­e­gory at the end of 2017.

Wright, who qual­i­fied for the Glasgow Com­mon­wealth Games in 2014, will head to the Gold Coast at the end of the month to com­pete in the un­der-88kg weight class on April 10.

With a per­sonal best in com­pe­ti­tion of 178kg and 181kg in train­ing, the draft­ing de­signer said he was ex­cited for the Games be­cause it would be the first time his fam­ily and friends had the op­por­tu­nity to watch him com­pete.

“The prospect of a home Games and be­ing able to com­pete in front of a crowd of sup­port­ers is an amaz­ing feel­ing and one that I'm sure I will re­mem­ber for the rest of my life,” he said.

“My goals for the Games are to com­pete to my best abil­ity, to fin­ish with a per­sonal best on the plat­form and to en­joy ev­ery­thing that comes with a home Games. There are not many peo­ple who get this ex­pe­ri­ence so I in­tend to soak in all it has to of­fer.”

Wright, an avid bas­ket­baller who has been pow­er­lift­ing for about 17 years, said he en­joyed the chal­lenge the sport brought and he had no one else to rely on but him­self.

“What I love about pow­er­lift­ing is that it is just me and the bar,” he said.

“In pow­er­lift­ing you only have your­self, if you don’t put in the work, if things don’t go right on the day, you only have your­self to blame.

“It makes you take re­spon­si­bil­ity for your own ef­forts and ac­tions.”

Train­ing five times a week at the WA In­sti­tute of Sport in Clare­mont, Wright is one half of the Dung Bee­tles with Man­durah res­i­dent Nang Nguyen.

When de­cid­ing their team name, Wright said the pair de­cided to fol­low the “old-age prac­tice of choos­ing a fierce an­i­mal”.

“I read an ar­ti­cle that said there is a species of dung bee­tle that can move 1141 times it's body weight,” he said.

“The slo­gan (is) ‘we push heavy s***’.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d480595

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