Junior powerlifter Charles Okpoko is no stranger to moving big weight. This past weekend he won his third USAPL Collegiate Nationals in the -66kg equipped category. What might be most impressive about Okpoko’s performance was his final 317.5kg (700 lb) USAPL Collegiate record single-ply squat (featured below).
Okpoko held the previous USAPL Collegiate squat record at 285kg, which he absolutely crushed this weekend. If breaking his previous record by 32.5kg wasn’t impressive enough, Okpoko performed this lift after pulling his right hamstring 2.5 weeks before this year’s nationals.
In his Instagram post’s description he writes, “I pulled my right hamstring 2.5 weeks before my meet, which pretty much threw my game plan out the window. BUT I didn’t freak out. I prayed about it and left it up to God to get me through this meet. I came with three goals in mind: to FINALLY squat 700 lbs, to walk away with a gold medal, and to not aggravate my injury any further.”
It’s safe to say he accomplished all three of the goals he set out for. Okpoko’s final lifts were a 317.5kg squat, 185kg bench, 215kg deadlift, and a 717.5kg total (7.5kg under Okpoko’s 2016 College Nationals 725kg record).
Okpoko is one of the most decorated junior lifters in the -66kg weight class. Last year, he took second at the IPF World Open Men’s Championships. To top it off, Okpoko was the youngest competitor to finish in the top 10, and was 13 years younger than first place finisher Tsung-Ting Hsieh.
This performance is arguably Okpoko’s best meet to date, as he finished with a 765kg total to set the American Open -66kg equipped record.
This 765kg total also earned him the fourth place ranking on USAPL’s 2016 Power Rankings Top 20 Equipped Male Lifters (up three spots from seventh in 2015).
His final lifts at the IPF World Open Championships were a 307.5kg squat (Men’s American Open Record), 200kg bench press, and 257.5kg deadlift.
Okpoko’s recent squat record is showing strong promise for what we can hopefully expect to see as 2017 progresses for this young powerlifter. Even after a pulled hamstring, Okpoko was able to stay composed and earn his third collegiate national championship title.
Feature image from @charlesokpoko Instagram page.