I have to say that Japan is one of the most pleasant places I have ever been to, and that is not me being unimaginative with my adjectives, but the place and people nothing but pleasant, calm, and an absolute pleasure to be around. This made, for me, the competition fantastic, laid back lifting surrounded by the best bench pressers in the world… what more could a bench fanatic want!
We (Andy Champ and I) arrived on the Wednesday morning after a very long full day of traveling. This is the furthest a lot of the team had ever travelled, and it was great to join everyone and feel the buzz and excitement. I did however totally underestimate the effects of long haul flights and had a little bit (a lot) of a melt-down when I stood on the scales at the hotel at 1.5kg too heavy, despite everyone’s reassurance that it was just water retention from the flight I was not convinced and was petrified at the sight of food for the first 12 hours! Low and behold though, day 2 weight was right down to practically comp weight, and food was a lot less intimidating!
Friday was comp day for the senior equipped ladies, Myself in the 63kg class, followed by Kim Cowell and Rachel Steedman in the 72kg group, and the lighter men, Joseph Diva in the 66kg, Emmanuel Franklin in the 74kg .
My own performance I was very happy with, opened 5kg heavier than I ever had at 105kg for three white lights, then 110kg with the same success, went for a PB on 3rd of 115kg but just couldn’t quite get it past the sticking point. Kim and Rachel were brilliant; Rachel finishing on 105kg after a valiant 3rd attempt at 112.5kg, and Kim smashing her own British record with a huge press of 130kg, well done that girl! The lads were great too, Joseph pressing 167.5kg for a solid 5th place, and Emmanuel and incredible 220kg for just over 3x bodyweight press.
Saturday was time for the bigger lads to strut their stuff, team GB consisting of Andy Champ in the 93kgs, and Mike Gibson in the 105kgs.
Andy opened the heaviest he ever has with 240kg, just 2.5kg off his comp best, and nailed it. He then had a couple of stabs at 247.5kg, just not quite getting the lock-out on the 1st, and the tiniest, yet obvious bit of downwards movement on the 2nd. Mike opened at 230kg for a comfortable opener, then missed 240kg on his 2nd decided to crank the shirt down and have a rip at 247.5kg for a laugh apparently as it didn’t affect any placing, not to be this time, but where better to have some fun than on the world stage.
I’m sure I can speak for the whole team in our upmost gratitude to Marc ‘the boss’ Giles and is side-kick James ‘belly’ Bell for looking after us, world class coaching, second to none team spirit, and the trip of a lifetime.
Until next time folks, stay strong and lift loud.
By Faye Jordan