Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Clau­dia Alp clau­dia.alp@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

POW­ER­LIFT­ING: Not even Hur­ri­cane Michael could stop Whit­sun­day lifter Leanne Knox from break­ing world records at the 2018 World Pow­er­lift­ing Cham­pi­onships in Vir­ginia, United States.

Knox was one of five women se­lected to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia in the world ti­tles be­tween Oc­to­ber 11-14 af­ter claim­ing a na­tional ti­tle at the Pow­er­lift­ing Aus­tralia Masters Cham­pi­onships in Au­gust.

She claimed first in the Masters 72kg, 45-49-year cat­e­gory on the world stage last Satur­day, cre­at­ing world records in the bar­bell back squat (150kg), dead­lift (165kg) and to­tal (380kg).

Knox was also part of the win­ning Aus­tralian trio which claimed vic­to­ries in the open 75kg cat­e­gory, plac­ing third be­hind Kel­lie Clarke (first), Jesse Ak­ister (sec­ond).

But Knox said the World Pow­er­lift­ing Cham­pi­onships proved to be her hard­est chal­lenge yet with mul­ti­ple de­lays caused by Trop­i­cal Storm Michael which was tear­ing through Ge­or­gia and the Caroli­nas, just south of Vir­ginia.

Knox said the winds blow­ing through her ac­com­mo­da­tion were so loud that she couldn’t sleep and ex­pe­ri­enced im­mense fa­tigue dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion.

But the worst was yet to come – power out­ages pre­vented the use of tech­nol­ogy and caused ma­jor de­lays, tak­ing the event from a four-hour com­pe­ti­tion to a gru­elling eight-hour one. “Men­tally, it was the hard­est com­pe­ti­tion I’ve ever done, be­cause it was so long. I’d hardly had any sleep,” Knox told the

Whit­sun­day Times.

“We did our last warm-up and then had to wait a whole hour to go out on the com­pe­ti­tion stage be­cause ev­ery time they thought they were ready to go, some­thing else went wrong. So we had to wait longer and longer. It was re­ally nerve-rack­ing.

“My fa­tigue lev­els were very high so just to make it to the end of the com­pe­ti­tion was a chal­lenge in it­self.”

Knox was ranked ninth in the Aus­tralian open cat­e­gory for pow­er­lift­ing and pre­vi­ously claimed the Aus­tralian and Ocea­nia Masters weightlift­ing cham­pi­onships, the Pa­cific Rim Masters and the Masters World Cup in 2017.

The World Cham­pi­onships marked the first ma­jor pow­er­lift­ing com­pe­ti­tion for Knox who achieved the dual sport world cham­pi­onship ti­tle with only five weeks’ prepa­ra­tion. Knox ar­rived in the US two days be­fore the com­pe­ti­tion and said she was pleased with the re­sult de­spite ex­haus­tion from lack of sleep.

“I didn’t re­ally know what to ex­pect be­cause it’s my first ma­jor com­pe­ti­tion in pow­er­lift­ing and I wasn’t sure what gen­eral stan­dard was,” she said.

“I’m very pleased to have won that sec­tion. That was my goal – dual sport world cham­pi­onship ti­tles.”

Knox said she’ll have a big off-sea­son from now un­til the 2019 Pow­er­lift­ing Aus­tralian Na­tional Cham­pi­onships Open Cat­e­gory which she hopes to com­pete in.

It’s no easy feat – to com­pete for that ti­tle, she would have to be ranked among the top six pow­er­lifters in Aus­tralia in her rel­e­vant cat­e­gory.

“I’ll be try­ing to in­crease my Aus­tralian record and reach a 400kg to­tal,” Knox said.

❝was Men­tally, it the hard­est com­pe­ti­tion I’ve ever done.

— Leanne Knox


CHAM­PI­ONS: Jesse Ak­ister (sec­ond), Kel­lie Clarke (first) and lo­cal pow­er­lifter Leanne Knox (third) were a win­ning trio in the 75kg open cat­e­gory at the World Cham­pi­onships in Vir­ginia.

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