AuthorJoel Fitzgerald
Publishedon June 14, 2024

The IPF World Classic Open Powerlifting Championships 2024 is scheduled for June 15th - 23rd in Druskininkai, Lithuania. The previous championship in Malta attracted a large audience, with some streams reaching over half a million views and televised broadcasts on Eurosport and Eurosport Asia. This year promises another exciting event as elite lifters vie for records, titles, and prestigious invitations to The World Games and Sheffield. Meet the fifteen talented Australians who will be competing in this year's championships!

Vicky Kijumnuayporn (u47kg Women): Australian Powerlifting Champion Returns

City Strength athlete Vicky Kijumnuayporn returns to represent Australia after an outstanding performance at Nationals, achieving a total of 393.5kg and narrowly missing the title of best overall female lifter by less than 0.5 GL points. In last year's World Championship, she secured 5th place in her weight class with a total of 400kg. This year, Vicky's current nomination places her 4th with 393.5kg, setting high expectations. However, the unpredictable nature of competition leaves room for Vicky to potentially clinch a podium finish.


Kirsty Lei (u57kg Women): Rising Star Makes International Debut

Kirsty Lei, a rising star in Australia's u57kg category, achieved an impressive 412.5kg total, securing 2nd place at Nationals. Kirsty has only been competing since 2022, her first competition saw her finish with a 292.5kg total. Since then she has put the work in while training adding 120kg to her total. With a top 15 nomination for Worlds and exceptional deadlifting prowess, Kirsty promises an impactful international debut. Follow her journey and wish her success in her debut competition!


Kelly Andrews (u57kg Women): From National Podium to World Stage

Another debutant in the u57kg Women’s class is Kelly Andrews. Back at Nationals Kelly and Kirsty tied with a 412.5kg total with the latter taking out 2nd place due to weight. We should see similar things come competition with Kelly's nomination also placing her in the top 15 of the weight class. Kelly has progressed tremendously over the last few years, back at Nationals in 2022 Kelly came in 9th with a total of 332.5kg since then she has put 80kg on her total and moved up to the top 3. We can’t wait to see what she can do in her international debut.

“Heading into Worlds, I’m surprisingly not nervous. I’ve been incredibly well supported by my coaching team and have tried my best to execute the plan to my abilities. My husband, my friends and my boss have all been my biggest supporters, which I think has been integral to the whole prep.”


Kathleen Beggs (u63kg Women): Overcoming Challenges for World Championship Debut

Representing the u63kg class for Australia is Kathleen Beggs, Kathleen has been a part of powerlifting since covid and this year's Nationals marked her first national appearance since 2019. Over the last year, Kathleen has had injuries and setbacks affecting her lifting but that didn’t stop her this year with Kathleen placing third in her class at the APA Nationals with a 432.5kg total. Her resilience and determination promise a compelling performance as she makes her international debut, we hope to see Kathleen hit some PB’s on the World stage and hope she enjoys this experience.


Samantha Ebony Grey (u69kg Women): Young Talent Steps onto Global Stage

Coming fresh into her first year as an open and her first international competition we have u69kg Australian Ebony Grey. Ebony has been competing as Junior since 2021 achieving 2nd place at the 2022 Junior Nationals. Since 2022 Ebony has put 65kg onto her total and came in first at this year's Open Nationals with a total of 460kg. Moving into Worlds Ebony is among the younger competitors for her class but that hopefully won't stop her from going out and showing what she can do on the world stage. Her current nomination places her at 13 out of 25 competitors and with a tight competition we can't wait to follow her journey and pursuit of personal milestones at the IPF World Classic Open.

“My biggest goal for IPF World's will be to have a good time and hopefully meet some of the amazing athletes that have inspired me to dream big and lift heavy. With that being said, I'd still love to walk away with some personal bests and add a few kilos to my total where possible.”


Brittany Romas (u76kg Women): Seasoned Competitor Aims for New Heights

Returning competitor Brittany Romas aims to surpass her 8/9 performance from last year with notable improvements in squat, bench, and a new total best of 495kg. While her Nationals performance was ideally not what she would have hoped for Brittany still placed 1st in her class and earned her ticket to Worlds. Brittany’s determination and preparation position her strongly for a strong showing. Watch as Brittany pushes her limits and strives for personal records in Lithuania.

"I am looking to redeem myself after a tough time at Australian Nationals! Hunting down a 500+ total!"


Natalie Laalaai (84+kg Women): Record Holder In Reach of Podium Finish

Representing the 84+kg class we have City Strength athlete Natalie Laalaai. Natalie is the third returning face we have on the Aussie team from Malta and after an amazing performance last year, we can’t wait to see what she can do this go round. Natalie has dominated her class over the last few years holding Australian records in Squat, Deadlift & Total, winning best overall female lifter at Nationals and currently holding the World Record for Deadlift. With nominations in a competitive race for 4th place, Natalie is poised to showcase her prowess and vie for a podium finish. Follow Natalie’s journey and watch her prove how much she deserves her spot on the world stage.

“After ranking 5th at last year's worlds I'm determined to prove once again that I belong on that world stage.” “As always I'm excited to represent God, my family & friends on that world stage very soon.”


Luseane Lafaele (84+kg Women): Newcomer’s Rapid Rise to World Competition

Finally for the women we have Luseane Lafaele joining Natalie in the 84+kg class. Luseane is relatively new to the powerlifting scene, with only 2 years and 4 competitions under her belt. However, this hasn’t stopped her from making her mark. Since her debut in 2022, she has impressively added 150kg to her total and secured a top 2 spot in her Australian class. Coming up to her international debut, Luseane comfortably holds a top 10 position with a nominated total of 620kg. It will be interesting to witness her performance on the global stage.

“I might be newer to the sport, but I’m so ready to don the green and gold with the team! The best part is that I get to experience it all with my little brother (Joshua Lanivia; u120kg Aus champ).”


Andrew Trieu (u66kg Men): Ready for International Debut

Starting off for the men we have Andrew Trieu set to make his international debut in Lithuania in the u66kg class. He clinched 1st place at Nationals last year with an impressive 639kg total, narrowly surpassing Yuki. As he gears up for Worlds, Andrew's grounded mentality and goal to achieve a flawless 9 for 9 performance promise an exciting competition. The synergy between Andrew and Yuki promises a thrilling showdown, potentially propelling both athletes higher on the leaderboard.

“Keen for a new experience and feeling nerves and excitement doing something new!”


Yuki Kashima (u66kg Men): Eyeing Top Bench Press Spot

Joining Andrew we have Yuki Kashima returning to the Australian team after last year's Malta campaign. Yuki is a seasoned powerlifter with this year's IPF World Classic Open Powerlifting Championships marking his third appearance. Last year in Malta we saw Yuki finish with a top 3 bench press and 9th overall for his class, since then he has put 21kg on his total and narrowly placed 2nd at Nationals by .5kg. Following this closely contested Nationals, Yuki is gearing up to demonstrate his prowess and compete for top honors in Lithuania. Cheer Yuki on as he pursues personal bests and aims for a 1st place bench medal.

“This is my 3rd worlds and I hope I perform well this year. Every year, I improve my weakness and those experiences help me hopefully. Thank you to city strength for continuous support.”


Leonardo Sucitra (u74kg Men): Returning Competitor Targets Top 10 Finish

Leonardo Sucitra, the u74kg National Champion and a recent addition to the City Strength team, is gearing up for his third appearance on the world stage. Having secured 6th place in 2022, Leo has since added an impressive 29kg to his total. Despite facing formidable competition, Leo currently stands 8th among 26 contenders in his class, with a narrow gap of less than 10kg from the top 5. With such a competitive field, Leo faces an exciting challenge, and observers eagerly await to see his performance unfold.

“The idea of exposing myself on a platform where I am competing against the finest lifters in the world, elevates my desire to push myself further.

I love Powerlifting for the constant challenges I have to face head-on & I see world championships as the perfect avenue to demand myself to be a better athlete and a better coach as well”


Samuel Forsberg (u105kg Men): Young Powerlifter’s Rise to International Debut

Samuel Forsberg will be making his international debut representing Australia in the u105kg class. Samuel's unexpected triumph at Nationals saw him clinch 1st place with a remarkable 20kg increase in his final deadlift (345kg), totalling 822.5kg and securing victory. Despite his relative newcomer status in the sport compared to his peers, Samuel has consistently made significant progress in each competition, setting high expectations for Worlds. Currently positioned 10th alongside Michael in nominations, Samuel faces a formidable challenge ahead as he aims to replicate his Nationals success and vie for a top 10 finish.


Michael Rand (u105kg Men): Australian Powerlifter Aims for Top 10 and New Records

Michael Rand is set to return to the global stage following his debut last year. The u105KG category witnessed a thrilling showdown at Nationals, culminating in a tight finish where all three podium finishers had a total of 822.5kg, with Michael securing a commendable 2nd place. Since his 15th place finish at Worlds last year, Michael has shown improvement, currently positioned around 10th place in the standings, having added 12.5kg to his total since Malta. With 31 competitors in this fiercely competitive class, anticipation is high for Michael's performance as he strives to break into the top 10.

“I'm very much looking forward to stepping on the world stage again since it was a lot of fun last year. For Worlds this year, I will be looking to break the 105kg Australian total record and aim to finish the in the top 10 this year. The body is feeling a lot stronger compared to worlds last year so I'm very confident I can tick these two goals off.”


Joshua Lanivia (u120kg Men): Journey to an International Debut

Joshua Lanivia is making his international debut along side his sister Luseane Lafaele. Moving up to the u120KG class in 2023, Joshua has consistently set new personal bests. His progress was evident in the 5 months between NSW States and Nationals, where he added an impressive 42.5kg to his total. With three months since Nationals, anticipation is high for Joshua's continued development. Currently ranked 13th out of 26 competitors in nominations, Joshua is closely trailing the top 10 by just 30kg.

“Goals for worlds would be to get a total PR on the world stage and get closer to that 888kg Australian record.”


Jackson Stubberfield (120+kg Men): Experienced Lifter Seeks Nationals Redemption at Worlds

Jackson Stubberfield returns as a member of the Australian team this year. Following his performance at the WA States, where he achieved a remarkable 900kg total and became the 4th person in Australia to do this in the raw, sleeved class, Jackson's total slightly dipped to 885kg at Nationals. Nevertheless, this secured his qualification for the upcoming Worlds in Lithuania, presenting an opportunity for him to redeem himself. Competing in the challenging 120+kg class, Jackson currently holds the 8th position among 11 competitors based on current nominations. Despite the fierce competition, Jackson's experience at Nationals has equipped him with invaluable insights, and we look forward to witnessing his ascent in the rankings.

"Goal is to go over 900 and climb as many places as possible. Also to enjoy the atmosphere of group A. I hope to make as many memories and friends as I can along the way!"


Where to Watch

Make sure you don't miss any of the action and watch every lift with all sessions streamed live on The Olympic Channel and the IPF's YouTube channel

The full schedule can be found be clicking here with the opening ceremony taking place 7pm (AEST) Saturday and the lifting starting at 8pm (AEST) Saturday.

AuthorJoel Fitzgerald
Publishedon June 14, 2024