The IPF World Classic Open Powerlifting Championships 2023, happening from the 11th to the 18th of June, is set to be the largest in IPF history. With 65 member nations and over 400 lifters participating, it's a monumental event. The Australian team, comprising 15 athletes from across the country will compete in Malta. Read on to discover more about these exceptional athletes.
Vicky Kijumnuayporn -47kg Women
Opening the competition for the Australian team on Sunday we have Vicky Kijumnuayporn. It will be a tough competition but Vicky is in with a good chance of a podium finish with a nomination of 395.5kg. Vicky emerged from the APU Nationals as the highest-ranked lifter across the entire competition by GLP. Holding the records for Australian -47kg class squat, bench and total we should see big things and can't wait to see her performance at the IPF Worlds.
Xinyu Liang -52kg Women
Relatively new to the sport of powerlifting Xinyu Liang is making her debut on the international stage just three years after starting her powerlifting journey. Qualifying for IPF Worlds so soon is an amazing achievement Xinyu should be proud of and judging by her numbers we could see her going far in the sport. Outside of powerlifting, Xinyu has been working as a medical doctor for 5 years, previously working in hospitals she started her first year of General Practice training this year. Xinyu finished Nationals with a 127.5kg squat, 65kg bench and a 175kg deadlift. Building on her Nationals squat Xinyu has increased it to 132.5kg in training, with many more years to come we can't wait to see Xinyu’s numbers keep on going up. We hope to see Xinyu hit her goal and go 9/9 at this year's IPF Worlds.
“Grateful I'm able to represent Australia in this sport and be amongst some of the strongest lifters globally. I can't wait to see what Team Australia and all other competitors put up on the platform. Also can't wait to escape Melbourne winter for a few weeks of summer.”
Elizabeth Craven -57kg Women
Long-time Australian powerlifter Elizabeth Craven is a seasoned international competitor with many trips overseas for powerlifting. Over the span of her career, Liz has broken multiple national and international records and brought so much to the sport of powerlifting with her coaching and gym (House of Reps) in Canberra. Her win at Nationals last year was the culmination of years of unfortunate events, after having surgeries Liz is back lifting more than she has since the last time she competed internationally in 2019. Liz's commitment is inspiring and we can't wait to witness what she can do.
Schae Zarew -63kg Women
Representing Australia in the -63kg class we have Schae Zarew, Schae has been competing for over 8 years and this year's IPF Worlds event will be her return to the international stage after narrowly placing 2nd back at the 2016 IPF Worlds as a junior. Last year's Nationals was a very strong showing for Schae, setting APU records for her total of 473kg and an APU Squat record of 175.5kg for her first time in competition. Her goal since 2017 has been to return to the world stage and after 5 years of training and winning her weight class at Nationals in 2022 she has secured her ticket to compete as an open at IPF Worlds. She has ticked off a major goal and we hope she enjoys this special experience.
Brittany Romas -76kg Women
Moving up to the -76kg class we have Brittany Romas, previously a competitor in the -69kg class Brittany will be one of the smallest competitors in her class but she hopes to draw some attention and continue to fill out in her class. Brittany started her powerlifting back in 2019 since then she has added over 100kg to her total and this IPF Worlds will be her first appearance at an international event. Brittany works as a physiotherapist and through powerlifting and her love for the sport she has been able to learn valuable lessons, adding to her achievements she has coached herself to a National Championship win proving herself not only as a powerlifter but also as a coach. Brittany has a love for the sport we admire and her goal this year is to deepen that passion, we hope Brittany enjoys this experience and gets to see the world stage again.
“This is my first international competition and my goal is to have fun and familiarise myself with the international platform.”
Rebecca Tancevski -84kg Women
Entering her 5th year of powerlifting Rebecca Tancevski is off to Worlds for her first international competition. Rebecca has surpassed her Nationals 152.5kg squat in training with a 165kg squat in her peak week and is in good stead to hit her goal of a double bodyweight squat. All that's left is to nail her lifts in competition and we can't wait to see it happen.
Natalie Laalaai 84kg+ Women
Entering her 4th year of lifting and first world championship Natalie Laalaai the mother to a beautiful 1-year-old girl is looking to break the all-time IPF female deadlift world record (268.5kg). She is in good stead to hit this, April saw Natalie achieve a 270kg deadlift at the Strength Club Night of Champs Sanctioned competition. We will have our eyes peeled to see Natalie achieve this goal and will be wishing the best of luck in this incredible endeavour. Going from a 592.5 total at Nationals last year to a 632.5 total in April we believe Natalie will do great things at IPF Worlds and she is going to be someone to watch.
“I'm looking forward to representing my family, friends, gym and especially my country at worlds!”
Yuki Kashima -66kg Men
Representing Australia for the second time at an IPF World Championship we have Yuki Kashima. After finishing 10th at last year's IPF Worlds we expect to see improvement from Yuki and hope to see him finish a little higher up the ladder. Already holding both bench and total records in the APU Yuki has set his goal for Worlds to successfully achieve a 10x body weight total and a medal for bench press. We love his confidence and hope to see Yuki do well this month.
Steven Day -74kg Men
Another Aussie athlete with a shot at a podium finish is Steven Day with his nomination landing him in the top 5 of the -74kg men's class. At the APU Nationals, we saw Steven not only win his division by 60kg but also win Best Male overall. Holding the APU -74kg class records for squat and total we hope to see a great performance at IPF Worlds. Stevens's goal heading into Worlds will be to get as high up the rankings as possible, competing against a stacked -74kg class this may be challenging but we believe he can do it and Steven knows if he performs to what he is capable of he will end up in a good position.
“Prep has gone well, I’m the healthiest I’ve been before a competition in a very long time, which is a huge win in itself. I’m just hoping to put together a performance that showcases how hard I have worked over the years to get here!”
James Le -83kg Men
Provisional psychologist, videographer and powerlifter Jame Le is following up on winning his weight class at Nationals and he is now gearing up for his debut at IPF Worlds this year. Competition wise James has his goal picked on hitting a massive PB and to gain the experience to set himself up for Worlds again in the future. Outside of his own competition, James will be taking his camera to cover as much of Worlds as he can not only for the Australian team but any other countries he meets along the way. Keep your eyes peeled on both his lifts and also arguably one of the best content creators on the APU team.
Coming off the back of his win at nationals this year's IPF Worlds marks 10 years of competing in powerlifting and the fourth trip to an IPF World Championship for Adam Jones. Outside of competing Adam is a full-time parent of two boys and an online powerlifting coach. Adam has set his sights on continuing to build on his lifts and increase his total just as he has been doing across his entire career, ultimately Adam hopes to rank as high as possible and we can't wait to see Adam hit this goal.
“Every time I go to an IPF Worlds I learn more as an athlete and a coach and that’s something I appreciate from each experience.”
Competing alongside Adam in the -93kg class we have Callan Gibbons, Callan is an online coach and is another Australian athlete making a debut at his first-ever IPF Worlds. This is the 2nd time Callan will be representing Australia on the international stage following his 2017 appearance at the Oceania Championships & Pacific Invitationals in Singapore and he is excited to step on the international stage once more. Callans goal for the competition is to give his personal best on the world stage and meet some great athletes from around the world. To be among some of the best is an amazing achievement.
“It's an honour to be selected to represent Australia at this world championships, and I'm looking forward to experiencing everything this competition has to offer.”
Michael Rand -105kg Men
After 7 years of competing Michael Rand will be seeing his first trip on the world stage at this year's IPF Worlds, this has been a dream come true for Michael as it was one of his major goals since he started competing. Following three unsuccessful attempts at Nationals, Michael secured his win and the ticket to Worlds after his successful win at last year's Nationals with an 821.5kg total setting two APU records in the process with his 336.5kg deadlift and his total. Micheal is confident and knows he is capable of beating his previous total and will be aiming to go over this number and set a new PB and Australian total record. Before powerlifting, Michael had been playing Rugby for 10 years and as soon as he found powerlifting he was hooked and enjoyed the process so much that he thinks he will be doing it for the rest of his life either in the sport or just to remain active. We can't wait to see Michael go out there and do what he enjoys and hope to see him on the world stage again.
“My future goals for Powerlifting is to make sure it doesn't over consume my life and balance it with all the other things that I enjoy doing. I want to keep pushing hard with my training to see how strong I can actually get.”
“There is some strong competition in the 105-kilo class in Australia so you never know when you may get an opportunity to go to worlds again so it's important to enjoy the moment.”
Samuel Butterworth -120kg Men
Adding another seasoned powerlifter to the Australian team we have Samuel Butterworth, this year would mark Sam’s 8th year competing in the sport. In the time Sam has been competing he has seen his total increase by leaps and bounds adding just shy of 200kg since Iron Fest IV back in 2016. Since last year's Nationals Sam has blown past his numbers in training and we hope that he keeps this momentum going into Worlds. After so many years of competing, it must be a great feeling for Sam to finally get his shot on the international stage and we wish him luck in his endeavour.
Jackson Stubberfield 120kg+ Men
Closing out the competition for the Aussie boys we have Jackson Stubberfield, Jackson is a Chemistry and Physics teacher hailing from Western Australia. Nationals last year saw Jackson put up an impressive 850kg total, securing the win for his class and a ticket to IPF Worlds for his debut on the international stage. Jackson’s goal for the comp is to put some more kilos on his total and make some friends and memories along the way. We can't wait to see this teacher go out and put some big numbers up to close out the competition for Australia.
“I have enjoyed a strong prep and hope to put it all together on the platform.”
No matter the results IPF Worlds is an incredible achievement for each of these athletes and a dream that for some felt almost unattainable. Best of luck to our Australian athletes competing at the IPF World Classic Open Powerlifting Championships in Malta. We can't wait to witness the action unfold and cheer you on!