Canadian Weightlifting National Championships: Who and How to Watch

The strongest athletes in Canada will be competing this weekend, May 19 & 20th, at the Canadian Weightlifting National Championships in Mississauga, Ontario at the University of Toronto – Mississauga campus.

The live feed of the competition can be found here.

The start list as of the close of entries can be found here.

The competition will be the final opportunity for Canadian weightlifters to qualify for the 2018 World Championships, to be held in November in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. At the 2017 World Championships in Anaheim, California, Canada had five athletes finish in the top 10 overall in the world. The highlight of their tournament was Maude Charron, a former CrossFitter turned Olympic Weightlifter, who won a silver medal in the snatch competition in the 63KG category.

This week, Canada did send a contingency of athletes to the Pan American Championships in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic. That being said, a majority of their top athletes are expected to be in competition this weekend. Here are some of the athletes to watch out for:

Men

  • Nikolay Varbanov (69KG, Ontario) – The son of three-time World Champion Alexander Varbanov is no slouch himself. The 19 year old has a 296KG entry total, and he recently snatched 135KG at a local event in March. If he competes to his abilities, he has a great chance to make the world team.

  • Francis Luna-Grenier (77KG, Quebec) – The 2008 Olympian is still going strong after a 15 year career that has included winning medals at the World University Championships and the Pan American Games.

  • Boady Santavy (94KG, Ontario) – Santavy has been the top male weightlifter in Canada over the past year. At the 2017 World Championships, he finished in sixth place overall with a 366KG total. At the Commonwealth Games this past April, Santavy set a new Commonwealth record in the snatch with 168KG. He was the only Canadian male weightlifter to win a medal, where he finished in second place overall.

Women

  • Josee Gallant (53KG, Nova Scotia) – The defending National Champion in this category. She recently snatched 87KG in training, which equals the American record and is 1 KG short of the Canadian Record. 88KG was snatched by Olympian Marilou Dozois-Prevost in 2011; if Gallant can compete to her abilities she has a great chance to break the record.
  • Rachel Leblanc-Bazinet (58KG, Quebec) – She won a bronze medal overall at last month’s Commonwealth Games in Australia, where she totaled 181KG. She finished 14th overall at the 2017 World Championships, this weekend she will be looking to take the next steps towards improving upon that.

  • Kristel Ngarlem (75KG, Quebec) – Another defending National Champion, the 23 year old has placed in the top 10 place finishers in 8 of her last 9 international competitions. This includes a bronze medal at the 2016 World University Championships and a silver medal at the 2015 Junior World Championships. If she competes to her abilities, she should be going to the World Championships to represent Canada. She was 8th overall at the 2017 World Championships, and she will be looking to improve upon that ranking.

Featured image: @varbanov216 on Instagram

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