The stage was set at the USA Powerlifting SBD Pro American Invitational in Columbus, Ohio at the 2018 Arnold Classic. Top female powerlifters from the -47kg to -84kg weight classes faced off and concluded their session in what could only be described as an all-around electric performance.
The whole session was filled with huge lifts, PRs, a couple broken American records, and a few broken unofficial world records. One athlete who consistently put on a show for the crowd was 19 year old -84kg powerlifter Daniella Melo. She went 9/9 on the day and ended up having one of the best meets of her life and unofficially broke the current IPF -84kg raw squat and total world records.
Her deadlifts were what sealed the deal and pushed her total to exceed the current IPF World Record, which currently sits at 537.5kg. For her deadlifts, she opened with a speedy 200kg (440 lb) pull, which look routine, then bumped up the weight to 215kg (473 lbs). Most athletes make their second attempt look easy, but Melo made this pull look like an absolute warm-up.
Leading up this meet, Melo had been posting “#roadto500” in all of her deadlift videos, and she actually pulled a speedy 225kg (495 lb) PR a little over two weeks ago. With this video, we had high hopes she’d eclipse the 500 lb club, and fortunately, she busted through that feat with flying colors on her third deadlift attempt when she called for 227kg (501 lbs) on the bar.
[Check out Daniella Melo’s speedy 225kg deadlift PR from two weeks ago!]
To conclude the day, Melo finished with a 222.5kg (490 lb) squat [tops her current 206.5kg WR by 16kg], a 122.5kg (270 lb), and of course, the 227kg deadlift. The total of these three successful third attempts earned Melo a monstrous 572kg total, which unofficially tops the current world record by 34.5kg.
Melo actually pushed her self ahead of the total record on her second deadlift attempt and only furthered it on her third. It was an exciting experience to watch her meet unfold, and I still have goosebumps watching her awe the crowd.