The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) held its 2023 Junior World Championships in Cluj Napoca, Romania, in a marathon 11-day event beginning on Aug. 24, 2023. The event covered raw and equipped lifting for the sub-Junior (ages 14-18) and Junior (ages 19-23) categories, attracting 631 young athletes from over 40 countries.
IPF sub-Junior and Junior world records were broken 72 times at this event. Many weight classes saw intense battles for records and for overall standings. Below are some of the standouts:
Sub-Junior 57KG Class Deadlift Battle
Chloe Tang of Singapore’s lead in the sub-Junior 57-kilogram class severely eroded when Eleni Guerrera of the USA opened with a raw world record deadlift attempt of 163.5 kilograms (360 pounds). Guerrera faltered in the second round when another world record attempt of 171.5 kilograms (378 pounds) garnered three red lights for downward movement. The dip was slight, but the rules state that the barbell must not go down at all.
Into the third round, Abigail Hanrahan-Miller of Canada grabbed the world record with a courageous 164-kilogram (362-pound) lift that she refused to let go of. It took a while, but she locked it out, and a new name appeared in the record books.
However, it wasn’t there for long as Guerrera reclaimed the record with 172.5 kilograms (380 pounds). Even that wasn’t enough to catch Tang, who, with the win secured, was free to attempt a world record of 173 kilograms (381 pounds). It was a smooth lift that cemented Tang with the total world record at 408 kilograms (899 pounds).
In the Junior 120-kilogram class, Jonah Wiendieck of Germany pulled well clear of the pack with a Junior world record bench press of 245.5 kilograms (541 pounds) before eclipsing that with a huge 250.5-kilogram (552-pound) press on his third attempt. He broke the Junior raw total world record upon lockout of his 305-kilogram (672-pound) deadlift opener.
Etienne El Chaer from Lebanon attempted to take the lead in one move, opening with a monster 350-kilogram (772-pound) deadlift. However, it drew red lights when he wobbled at the top.
With nerves of steel, El Chaer called for a world record of 368.5 kilograms (812 pounds) for his second attempt. Three white lights slid El Chaer into the lead, taking the raw total world record along the way.
Wiendieck responded with a 335-kilogram (739-pound) pull to get back ahead, but El Chaer was unstoppable. El Chaer made short work of 378.5 kilograms (834 pounds) for his final deadlift to score the victory by a scant half-kilo (one pound).
Last year’s 52-kilogram Junior World Champion, Camille Hadrys of France, went up to the 57-kilogram class in 2023 for an intense head-to-head battle with Lebanon’s Joya Khairallah. Hadrys broke the Junior deadlift world record with 183 kilograms (403 pounds), but Khairallah responded with 183.5 kilograms (404.5 pounds), taking the Junior raw deadlift and total world records en route to her world championship title.
Sub-Juniors Smash the Record Books
Britain’s Nonso Chinye had a great day in the sub-Junior 120-kilogram class. He broke the sub-Junior squat world record with 308.5 kilograms before adding an astonishing 40 kilograms (88 pounds) to the sub-Junior deadlift world record. He pulled an incredible 360.5 kilograms (795 pounds) to claim the sub-Junior total world record at 851.5 kilograms (1,877 pounds). This is the heaviest deadlift and biggest raw total ever done by a sub-Junior lifter in the IPF.
Demir Hamza of Austria won the Best Lifter award on GL points* for his performance in the sub-Junior 105-kilogram class. He traded the sub-Junior squat world record back and forth with John Endoso of the UAE before Endoso’s final attempt was turned down, leaving Endoso to claim the record with 311 kilograms (686 pounds).
Hamza was leagues ahead on bench press and cemented his win with a sub-Junior raw deadlift world record of 330.5 kilograms (729 pounds) and sub-Junior raw total record of 851.5 kilograms (1,877 pounds).
*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.
Many of these young athletes will face a five-week turnaround to the 2023 European Powerlifting Federation (EPF) European Junior Championships in Budapest, Hungary starting on Oct. 10, 2023.
Featured image: @theipf on Instagram