Ukraine Dominates the 2023 EPF European Equipped Powerlifting Championships

The contest was held in Thisted, Denmark between May 2nd and May 7th, 2023.

The 2023 European Powerlifting Federation (EPFEquipped Championships occurred May 2-7, 2023, in Thisted, Denmark, and were dominated by one team: Ukraine. Long regarded as one of the top nations in the field of equipped powerlifting, Ukraine won all but one of the team awards.

Team points are awarded for each lifter who achieves a top 10 position in their respective weight class: 12 points for first place, nine points for second place, eight points for third place, and so on, down to a single point for 10th place. Best lifter awards were also given based on GL* points across weight classes. Check out the results and recap from the contest below.

*Note: The GL point formula is an attempt to compare the achievements of lifters of different body weights and is used by the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) and its affiliates.


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2023 EPF European Equipped Championships Results

Below are the athletes who reached the podiums in their respective divisions in Thisted, Denmark:

Men’s 59KG

  1. Pawel Osmilalowski (POL) — 595 kilograms
  2. Christian Moise (ROU) — 555 kilograms

Men’s 66KG

  1. Hassan El Belghiti (FRA) — 757.5 kilograms
  2. Mariusz Grotkowski (POL) — 745 kilograms
  3. Gheorghe Moise (ROU) — 612.5 kilograms

Men’s 74KG

  1. Antti Savolainen (FIN) — 760 kilograms
  2. Andrii Stepanov (UKR) — 687.5 kilograms
  3. Bernard McGurk (GBR) — 647.5 kilograms

Men’s 83KG

  1. Kjell Egil Bakkelund (NOR) — 907.5 kilograms
  2. Vitalii Kolomiiets (UKR) — 895 kilograms
  3. Matias Viiperi (FIN) — 877.5 kilograms

Men’s 93KG

  1. Kostiantyn Musiienko (UKR) — 1,035 kilograms
  2. Andreas Jandorek (AUT) — 877.5 kilograms
  3. Antonio Gorga (ITA) — 825 kilograms

Men’s 105KG

  1. Oleksandr Rubets (UKR) — 1,015 kilograms
  2. Nicki Lentz (DEN) — 1,012.5 kilograms
  3. Asgeir Hoel (NOR) — 987.5 kilograms

Men’s 120KG

  1. Sofiane Belkesir (FRA) — 1,045 kilograms | bodyweight: 115.59 kilograms
  2. Danylo Kovalov (UKR — 1,045 kilograms | bodyweight: 116.46 kilograms
  3. Viktor Leskovets (UKR) — 1,030 kilograms

Men’s +120KG

  1. Christoph Seefeld (GER) — 1,012.5 kilograms
  2. Jordan Bollard (GBR) — 962.5 kilograms
  3. Dreyer Martin (DEN) — 857.5 kilograms

Women’s 47KG

  1. Tetiana Bila (UKR) — 435 kilograms
  2. Lisette Hansen (DEN) — 377.5 kilograms
  3. Daniela Stroe (ROU) — 310 kilograms

Women’s 52KG

  1. Laura Savolainen (SWE) — 462.5 kilograms | bodyweight: 51.52 kilograms
  2. Olivia Kyosti (FIN) — 462.5 kilograms | bodyweight: 51.82 kilograms
  3. Anastasiia Derevianko (UKR) — 457.5 kilograms

Women’s 57KG

  1. Karolina Moszynska (GER) — 485 kilograms
  2. Tetiana Shchavinska (UKR) — 482.5 kilograms
  3. Blanka Bartonkova (CZE) — 465 kilograms

Women’s 63KG

  1. Larysa Soloviova (UKR) — 585 kilograms
  2. Radostina Lulova (BUL) — 527.5 kilograms
  3. Marthe Tjelta (NOR) — 517.5 kilograms

Women’s 69KG

  1. Jenny Marie Johansen (NOR) — 570 kilograms
  2. Holly Bryans (GBR) — 557.5 kilograms
  3. Ines Kahrer (AUT) — 550 kilograms

Women’s 76KG

  1. Marte Elverum (NOR) — 630 kilograms
  2. Frida Wik (SWE) — 572.5 kilograms
  3. Annemia Pretzmann (DEN) — 567.5 kilograms

Women’s 84KG

  1. Anna Heranger Soerlie (NOR) — 635 kilograms
  2. Ankie Timmers (NED) — 632.5 kilograms
  3. Daria Rusanenko (UKR) — 626 kilograms

Women’s +84KG

  1. Sóley Jónsdóttir (ISL) — 660 kilograms
  2. Valentyna Zahoruiko (UKR) — 622.5 kilograms
  3. Amalie Larsson (DEN) — 577.5 kilograms

[Related: Heather Connor (47KG) Deadlifts More Than Her Raw World Record Twice in Training]


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[Related: Powerlifter John Haack Deadlifts 385 Kilograms (848 Pounds) for a Double in Training]

Men’s Divisions Recap

Team Ukraine made an impact from the beginning, taking the team awards in the Sub-Junior and Juniors categories to kick off the competition. The action blossomed as the Open categories took to the lifting platforms. Here are some highlights.

Kjell Bakkelund — 83KG Class

The 83-kilogram class saw World Champion Kjell Bakkelund of Norway go toe-to-toe with the 2022 European Champion, Vitalii Kolomiets of Ukraine. They were evenly matched on the squat, with Bakkelund taking 347.5 kilograms (766 pounds) to Kolomiets’ 342.5 kilograms (755 pounds).

Kolomiets missed his third bench press at 245 kilograms (540 pounds), though, which would have helped even the score. Instead, Bakkelund surged ahead, looking untouchable on the deadlift. He locked in the deadlift gold medal by locking out 317.5 kilograms (700 pounds) and securing his seventh European title.

Kostiantyn Musiienko — 93KG Class

It’s no surprise that Kostiantyn Musiienko of Ukraine won handily in the 93-kilogram class. He was 157.5 kilograms (347 pounds) ahead of his nearest rival. This was enough to win the Best Lifter award with 112.5914 GL points.

105KG Class Battle

Fireworks were expected in this weight class, and the lifters did not disappoint. Home nation hero, Nicki Lentz, having moved up a weight class for this competition, squatted a massive 415 kilograms (915 pounds) for the squat gold medal and a new personal best. Ukraine’s Oleksandr Rubets matched the squat weight, but Lentz took the advantage, as he was lighter in body weight. 

Sweden’s Oliver Dahlkvist did not secure a squat in any attempt and, therefore, could not place in the overall competition. However, the IPF allows athletes to take medals in other disciplines even if they cannot make a total. Dahlkvist indeed took the bench press gold with 280 kilograms (617 pounds). Rubets struggled on the bench, missing his opener and second attempts before finally, with some relief, nailing 272.5 kilograms (601 pounds).


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 Only 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) separated the two front runners heading into the deadlift, and the tension was palpable. The support for Lentz was incredible during that Saturday evening session, where it felt like the whole town had turned out to cheer for their hero. Lentz’s deadlifts flew from the floor with ease. Rubets appeared slower and with discomfort from the hip injury that plagued him at Worlds.

Lentz took 322.5 kilograms (711 pounds) for his final deadlift — a personal best in the deadlift and total for a solid 15-kilogram (33-pound) lead. Rubets called for 327.5 kilograms (722 pounds) on the barbell to try to pull for the win. His second attempt, at 310 kilograms (683 pounds), had looked tough, so it seemed like a hail-mary call. However, Rubets was a determined fighter and kept pulling to a lockout, and claimed the European title.

With two European Champions, this was enough to give Ukraine the Open Team award, too, thus securing a clean sweep for the men’s team.


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[Related: Powerlifter Jamal Browner Demonstrates How to Perform a Proper Conventional Deadlift]

Women’s Divisions Recap

The Ukrainian women’s team started in the same vein as the men’s, winning both the Sub-Junior and Junior team awards. Gracie Besant of Team Great Britain broke the EPF European Sub-Junior deadlift record in the 69-kilogram (152-pound) class with a deadlift of 163 kilograms (359 pounds).

84KG Class

Ukraine’s Daria Rusanenko set an early lead with a world record equipped squat of 276 kilograms (608 pounds). As Rusanenko is only 22 years old, it also secured the Junior world record.

Norway’s Heidi Hille Arnesen made good progress, squatting 252.5 kilograms for the Masters 2 (M2, ages 50-59) squat world record. Arnesen went on to break the M2 total record with 607.5 kilograms (1,339 pounds).

Ankie Timmers of the Netherlands picked up the bench press gold with a massive 190-kilogram (419-pound) lift, putting her in second place at sub-total* — the biggest female bench press of the whole competition.

*Note: Best squat plus best bench makes the sub-total; add the best deadlift to get the powerlifting total.


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Meanwhile, Norwegian lifter Anna Soerlie Heranger had quietly taken the silver medal in both squat and bench and was now posing a real threat, only 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) behind Timmers,

Rusanenko maintained her tiny lead through the first round of deadlifts. Still, disaster struck when her second deadlift was turned down by the referees due to downward movement, a technical failure. This opened the way for the other two, and Heranger pulled a tough 220-kilogram (485-pound) deadlift to take her second consecutive European title, with Timmers in second place.

Heranger’s win was enough for Norway to thwart Ukraine’s total dominance by a single point in the team competition. Still, no one could get close to Ukraine’s Larysa Soloviova for the Best Lifter prize, which she won with 105.6703 GL points.

Watch More Equipped Powerlifting

If you enjoyed this competition, there is still more equipped lifting to come on the IPF calendar, all of which will be streamed live on IPF social media:

  • World Equipped Bench Press Championships — May 25-27 | South Africa
  • European Master Equipped Powerlifting Championships — July 5-9 | Czechia
  • World Equipped Junior Powerlifting Championships — August 24-27 | Romania
  • Asian Equipped Bench Press Championships — September 11-17 | Japan
  • World Equipped Masters Powerlifting Championships — October 13-15 | Mongolia
  • African Equipped Powerlifting Championships — October 24-29 | Algeria
  • World Equipped Open Powerlifting Championships — November 13-19 | Lithuania

Featured image: @annaheranger on Instagram