The BWAD Championships, held at Stoke Mandeville earlier this month, provided the last official outing for the six-strong GB Powerlifting Team, before they enter the ExCeL Arena in for London 2012.
The undoubted star of the show was a resurgent Ali Jawad, the 23-year-old completing a full set of three successful lifts in the under 60kg category, ending by setting a British Record of 181kg.
Ali, who was suffering badly from his Crohn’s disease earlier in the year, looked well on the path to full fitness, with a final lift that was the 3rd best in the world this year. This also earned him the Harry Dufton Trophy for the Best Lifter at the Championships.
The other three members of the men’s team headed for London all achieved impressive lifts in setting personal best performances for the year. Anthony Peddle (145kg), Jason Irving (177kg) and heavyweight Paul Efayena (194kg) all looked in good form, although all narrowly failed with their final lifts as they pushed themselves to their limits.
Paul impressed with his continual improvement, whilst veterans Anthony and Jason are looking better and better as they both now look fully recovered from injury.
In the women’s categories neither of our Paralympians were able to equal their season’s best lifts. Zoe Newson (under 40kg), the IPC ‘Athlete of the Month” a year ago, successfully lifted 85kg, whilst Natalie Blake (under 56kg) looked powerful and determined in achieving 90kg. However their best lifts in 2012 still put them at number 3 and number 4 for the year in their respective categories.
There were some hugely impressive performances from lifters not destined for London, with Micky Yule (powering to 170kg in the under 75kg category) being the pick of the bunch. Many lifters achieved season and personal bests and the sport looks in very good hands going into the Paralympics.
* Report by Paul Webster.