Kitted out in GB kit, Suzie and Lucy headed to the World Classic Bench Press Championships in Vantaa, Finland. They also joined up with Zoe Clark from Oxford for a cute joint Oxbridge trip.

Vikram's relief after finishing the Bench Press

The Thursday was spent exploring Helsinki and relaxing on the beach whilst Suzie prayed that she’d make weight. There was no scale in the hotel which they’d been put in so not really any way of weighing themselves the night before (of course Lucy and Zoe were well under their respective categories of 63kg and 72kg). Unfortunately, it turned out Suzie’s diet of cashews and dark chocolate the day before had not been enough for her to make weight in the morning. Memories of that night involve lying on the room living vicariously through Zoe and Lucy as they snacked.

Arriving at the venue in the morning, dehydrated Suz was confident that she would be nicely under 63kg – alas she was still 500g over. The next two hours were spent in a state of dehydrated delirium and eventually through a combination of sweating and bathroom trips Suzie made weight by 60g… Perhaps it is time to move up to the 72s? Warmups began in the room full of Eleiko plates, bars and benches – Lucy opened on 55kg, whilst Suzie was approximately 2 people later in the flight on 70kg. Lucy smashed her second attempt of 60kg, however Suzie misgrooved and got crushed by 75kg again. Sadly for Lucy the 62.5kg attempt wasn’t there today. Suzie meanwhile was trying to pull herself together in the holding room, and after some pep talk from the GB Bench coach, she walked onto the platform and set up. CUPLC fans at home waited with baited breath to see if she would make this attempt… and the livestream cut out. 75kg flew up, but without video evidence to prove it, did it really even happen?

Other highlights of the few days abroad involved seeing Jen Thompson bench a World Record 144kg! And also meeting her (my personal idol) and eating the most expensive burger of our lives - $17 euro for just the burger! After the horrific cut to make the 63kg class for this competition, Suzanne decided to bulk up to the 72s and started it in style, impressing the 120+kg GB team member with how much she could eat. Meanwhile, Lucy had a mare, broke her phone and lost important footage of Suz filming a message to future Suz about how awful weight cutting is.

Lucy, Suzie, Zoe and Lizzie with Geno
Jen Thompson-bae