5th for Brandon at World University Powerlifting Cup 2022

607.5kg Total at 68.6kg (U74)

How was your experience at your first ever international powerlifting competition?

The experience was really an opportunity of a lifetime and one that I was and am incredibly fortunate to have received. Competing at an international competition means that you get exposed to international standards of competition and judging, and in my opinion has made me really want to strive for much more. I witnessed two junior world record attempts, got to mingle and interact with athletes all over the world, and most importantly had a very decent day during my competition, going 8/9 and narrowly missing out on my last deadlift (which would have given me a deadlift bronze, overall bronze, broken the BUCS deadlift and total record). Team GB was simply electrifying to be around, and I am confident in saying that our team was by far the most supportive of all competitors throughout the competition and had the most camaraderie and of course banter.

You had an elbow injury going into the comp, how did you feel it impacted your preparation leading up to it and the performance at the comp?

The injury required me to take months off of bench press training to focus on rehabilitation and recovery, to the extent that at one point I was only doing isometric or eccentric work with 12 kg dumbbells! I think having the injury meant that I knew that I would have 15-20 kilos off my bench (compared to if I didn’t sustain the injury). In the competition itself I benched 135 kg, 10 kg off my personal best at BUCS. It definitely cost me kilos off my total as it meant having to push a lot more for deadlifts at the end, and while unfortunate I look forward to the day when my injury fully heals, and my bench gets fully back on track!

Did you struggle with the transition to competing in a new environment?

Surprisingly, competing internationally didn’t really have too much of an impact on performance. This was definitely due to the great handlers I had, who helped me throughout and made it such that I only had to focus on lifting whatever weight they loaded for me on the platform. However, flying and travelling as well as eating at odd times meant that I ended up losing a ton of weight, and ended up weighing in at 68.6kg while competing in the U74KG category, a besmirch on my honour and hopefully an event that will not be repeated in the future.

What were your expectations going into the comp?

This being my first international competition, I came in with moderate expectations and given the time difference, travel and other factors that could have an impact on my performance, my focus on the day was putting up as good a total as I could and executing to the best of my ability, rather than focusing on a podium position. Given that I was nominated 5th overall and the top three being far ahead of me in all of the lifts, I really just focused on having a good competition.

What was the highlight of the entire trip for you?

The highlight must have been seeing Gaston (IPF president) dancing with all of us and myself quite literally dancing the soles off my dress shoes to “malo malo tebya” HAHA. In all seriousness, the trip was filled with many fun moments simply interacting with the team, having fun and enjoying my first international comp. Some for sure mention highlights would be Kral-Doner : the kebab shop that for some reason or another team GB decided was the finest establishment that turkey had to offer. Having 15 or so incredibly jacked team GB athletes jumping into the pool was another moment that was very fun, and so was being thoroughly scammed by the hotel to pay exorbitant prices to get a taxi into the city. Most importantly though, I think the moments of stepping onto the podium and getting a medal, as well as taking the final team photo on the penultimate day of the competition was such a good experience that I’d probably have to put them as the highlight of the trip.

Any final thoughts?

I wouldn’t have been able to compete at this stage without the love and support of everyone in CUPLC, and I am so thankful that I decided to become a part of this club last year. A special shoutout to Suzanne for lending me her team GB tracksuit (which I shall hopefully remember to return sooner or later). I hope to do well in the upcoming competitions to compete internationally again this year and fly CUPLC’s flag high!