Varsity Win for CUPLC for the 8th year running

Cambridge 4696.1 - Oxford 4636.2 Results


The year of 2020 brought heightened stakes to the Cambridge vs Oxford Powerlifting Varsity. This year The Varsity match became an official IPF competition, and therefore both teams were hungry to have the 2020 win under their belts. Would this be the year that Oxford overcame their 7-year losing streak?

Undeterred by the stormy weather and 5am drive to Oxford, CUPLC set up camp ready for the day ahead. The competition began with the Women’s flight of squats, the depth of talent that CUPLC having to offer being evident. Surprisingly to no-one, Beatrice Fishwick (AKA ‘Bocter’) began the day with a strong and professional performance finishing with a 135KG squat (58.4KG bodyweight), backed up by an equally impressive 122.5KG squat from Women’s Captain, Lucy Hart (59.6 BW). However, the O**d powerhouse that is Sophie Smith responded well with a 130KG squat at 63.1KG bodyweight.

Next up were the Men’s squats. With a strong cohort of light and middle weight lifters (and a seemingly lacking presence of heavy weights from both sides), Men’s Captain and U66KG lifter Remi Rufus- Toye (AKA ‘will his adductor stay attached?’) made it clear that O****d had serious work to do, easing up 185KG. New to the team, Stelios Sarantellis (76.6KG) started the day in style with a 202.5KG squat. However, Oxford responded well. Arif Wani, carrying the flag for the O****d light weights, ended with an impressive 202.5KG squat. Leading the charge for the middle weights, CUPLC president Vikram Thakur (96KG BW) made a statement with a stupendous 230KG squat. However, hot on his heels, and a weight class below, Diamor Marke wowed the crowd with a 220KG lift.

On to the bench press and it was clear from the onset that not all was set to go to plan. Plagued by long press commands, both Beatrice Fishwick and Sujan Sriharan (65.4KG BW) both missed their second attempts. However, both are seasoned lifters. Adapting to the challenge of longer pauses, both impressively came back to finish with a 75KG and 97.5KG bench presses respectively. Lucy remained composed finishing with a cool, calm and collected 62.5KG. However, totally undeterred by the longer pauses, Sophie retaliated exceptionally with an 85KG bench.

Aware of the challenge ahead Raghul Parthipan (75.1KG BW) and Yaron Burnstein (73.5KG BW) responded well responded with 137.5KG and 127.5KG bench presses respectively. Stefan Ivanov did equally well with a 132.5KG bench at 73.2KG BW and Remi Rufus- Toye stayed cool to bench an unusually tough 125KG. With a rotation of the referees, the later flights enjoyed something closer to touch and go than the three count pause that earlier flights suffered. O**d fought hard for ground with Ernest Wong (100.1KG) benching 140KG and Diamor benching 130KG. But this time Vikram bested Diamor with a 135KG bench. With little between the scoring male lifters in bench totals, but a noticeable weight advantage for OUPLC, a CUPLC points advantage was becoming more apparent. However, it is not over until the deadlifts as we were about to see…

Lucy rounded of an incredibly impressive day with a spectacular 150KG deadlift, closely followed by Beatrice with 142.5KG. However, an absolutely stunning 165KG deadlift from Sophie Smith gave CUPLC something to be concerned about giving her a shattering 380KG total.

Keen to capitalise on the ground Sophie created, O**d’s light weight men came out swinging with Lucas Stole (76.8KG) pulling 212.5KG and Arif Wani pulling 227.5KG. But any early questions asked were silenced by Men’s Captain Remi, pulling 232.5KG to put him far ahead in Men’s pole scoring position. Stefan Ivanov and Stelios helped helm the response, impressing us all with a 222.5KG and 220KG deadlift respectively.

With the sting taken out of Sophie’s impressive work to pull O**d closer to Cambridge, it was left to Vikram to end our top 8s scoring and bring the trophy home. He did not disappoint. Hauling up 262.5KG he ended a fantastic performance. In a last-ditch effort that has become all too familiar, Oxford’s remaining lifters threw everything on the platform. Diamor pulled 270KG finishing with a very impressive total (getting incredibly close to Remi’s IPF score), one which surprised the Cambridge tacticians and Ernest took the heaviest pull of the day at 275KG. However, it just wasn’t enough. Despite a close battle, CUPLC took the victory for an 8th consecutive year, winning the first ever sanctioned Varsity.

Congratulations to Sophie Smith for being the best overall female lifter and Remi Rufus-Toye for being best overall male lifter.



  • Breatrice Fishwick - 652.3 IPF Points
  • Remi Rufus-Toye - 664.5 IPF Points
  • Raghul Parthipan - 633.2 IPF Points

Half Blues

  • Lucy Hart - 594.8 IPF Points
  • Vikram Thakur - 591.1 IPF Points
  • Steven Smithies - 583.2 IPF Points
  • Yaron Bernstein - 564.6 IPF Points

These include scores achieved at other IPF sanctioned competitions in the 2019/2020 academic year