World records tumble at 2021 World Open Classic Powerlifting Championships

Pre-event favourites Anatolii Novopismennyi and Jessica Buettner reign supreme as the biggest powerlifting event of 2021 ends in Halmstad, Sweden. 

By Evelyn Watta
Power lifting

Powerlifting stars Anatolii Novopismennyi and Jessica Buettner, Russel Orhii, Amanda Lawrence and Prescillia Bavoil dominated at the 2021 World Open Classic Powerlifting Championships in Halmstad, Sweden.

The quintet topped their respective categories with massive performances at the International Powerlifting Federation Championships flagship event, which was streamed live on Olympic Channel.

There were also some upsets during proceedings, with Chandler Babb from the US Virgin Islands beating compatriot Kimberly Walford in the 69kg category, while Great Britain’s Joy Nnamani topped the 57 kg competition.

Prescillia Bavoil of France. Photo by IPF

Novopismennyi tops heavyweight battle

The battle of the heavyweights lived up to its billing.

Anatolii Novopismennyi earned his third world classic in record style in the -93 kg class.

The Ukrainian began the event with a new world's best, squatting 343.5kg in his first attempt, then bettering the mark twice with his subsequent lifts of 355 and 360kg.

The talented lifter then topped his bench press with 225kg and added a deadlift of 352.5kg for a total world record heave of 937.5kg.

Local star Emil Norling, a former Junior IPF World Champion, took silver with 905kg total, while France’s Corentin Clement set a world junior record with 895 kilos in third.

With American lifters locked out of the championships following USA Powerlifting’s suspension by the IPF for WADA noncompliance, Orhii opted to compete for the US Virgin Islands.

He made his presence felt right from the start of an 83kg class packed with some of the best lifters.

His third attempt of 320.5kg, a world record in the squat, gave him an early lead.

It was a close battle for supremacy in the deadlift with Asein Enahoro. A 332.5 kg world record pull had HungarianEnahoro of Hungary in his second attempt.

Orhii’s final attempt of 333kg bumped off Enahor’s world record. But after a solid bench press of 187.5kg Orhii’s total world record of 841kg was unsurmountable.

France’s Yanis Bouchou was second with 778kg and Italy’s Emilio Cotti Cometti third with a total of 772.5kg.

Bavoil’s path to the women’s 63kg gold involved several world records.

The French athlete bettered her three IPF world records in three areas.

She squatted 205kg, bench pressed 112.5kg and her pull of 230.5 kg was the heaviest ever, for a world record total of 548kg.

That comfortably clear second-placed Iris Scholten of Netherland, who secured a 495kg total.

Diabetic lifter Jessica Buettner continued to impress.

The ‘Canadian forklift’ lived up to her nickname in the 76kg division, where she achieved a record 210.5kg squat and posted a massive 247.5kg in the deadlift, for another world record total of 563kg.

There was another world record performance in the women’s 84kg where Amanda Lawrence of the US Virgin Islands starred with a world record squat of 243.5kg, bettering her world record bench press with a 260.5kg lift in the third and final attempt. Her total of 636.5kg, also a world record mark, earned the gold in emphatic fashion.

Chandler Babb landed the 69kg gold with a total of 530kg, beating compatriot Kimberly Walford, a four-time world champion who totaled 510kg to finish in fifth place.

Reigning Euro gold medallist in the 57kg category Joy Nnamani added a third career world gold, edging out the defending champion Maria Htee.

Her deadlift world record of 220.5kg made all the difference for the Britiish lifter, as it boosted her total to 480.5kg.

Nnamani struggled in the squat and bench press, where she was unable to go past the162.5kg mark. Her best in the bench press was 97.5kg and she finished in fifth overall.

Canada’s Htee took silver with 472.5 kilos with Bobbie Butters rounding off the podium with her total of 470.5kg for Team GB.