Powerlifting title for Yoma
On Sunday 23 September Sixth Former Yoma travelled to Northampton to compete at the Junior British Powerlifting Championships. Having qualified earlier in the year, at her first ever competition, it was unclear how she would fare against the best juniors in the country.
Yoma had built a good base of strength by utilizing Strength & Conditioning sessions at Bancroft’s and, under guidance from our S&C Coach Arram Eghoyan (a former World Champion himself) progressed quickly. After a year’s regular training, she competed in her first Powerlifting competition in which she qualified for the Junior British Championships. Unfortunately, without access to the school gym over the summer, Yoma had been out of regular training ahead of the Championships. Upon returning to school, she had just three weeks to prepare herself. She turned up to every session, did exactly what she was told to do by Arram, and went to the competition as prepared as she could be.
It soon became clear that there were two main contenders for the U18 title, and it was going to be close! Yoma had a great start in the Squat, her best event, breaking the U18 British record on both her 2nd and 3rd attempts, finishing with 142.5kg, the new British record. The Bench Press was the second event, not Yoma’s favourite, but her confidence was boosted by some fantastic lifts in the warm up area and her coach upped her starting weight from 50kg to 55.5kg (another British record). After this, the lead in the Bench Press went back and forth between the top two contenders, with both of them breaking the record in their 2nd lifts. On her 3rd lift Yoma attempted a massive 65kg, which unfortunately was declared a “No Lift”. The Bench Press record had escaped Yoma’s grasp.
Going into the Deadlift, Yoma was in the lead, and needed to stay within 20kg of her opposition, a proven deadlifter, to take home the Gold. It was clear that the competition was going to go down to the wire. After watching her opponent break the British record on the Deadlift with 150.5kg, Yoma stepped up and convincingly lifted 145kg, a new personal best, and put the Gold out of reach for everyone else.
The high standard of competition was demonstrated by the number of records broken. Yoma’s total of 347.5kg is the heaviest ever weight lifted in British Powerlifting, by a girl in her age/weight class. Arram believes “we have just scratched the surface of Yoma’s strength potential”. With a career in medicine in her sights, her studies will always be Yoma’s priority, but she plans to continue Powerlifting throughout school and university; she may smash a few more records along the way!
I was really excited for the competition and it was a huge achievement to break two GB U18 Powerlifting records as well as win the competition overall despite some tough competition.Yoma U6