22 Mar Success at the Welsh Senior Championships 2019
On 2nd March, Bangor University, Weightlifting Wales’ main partner, hosted the Welsh Senior Championships. The event saw just under 50 competitors battling it out to claim national titles, break Welsh and British records, and qualify for this years’ British Championships.
The day kicked off with the Para Powerlifting discipline, which saw Commonwealth Games athlete Sean Gaffney, Bangor athlete Francesca Antoniazzi and HAWFC athlete Mathew Williams compete in the first event of the day. Sean achieved a 170kg Bench Press in the Over 72kg Category, Francesca achieved 57kg Bench Press in the Up to 61kg category and Mathew achieved an 80kg Bench Press in the Up to 72kg Category.
Women’s -49kg & -55kg, this group included two Commonwealth athletes; Hannah Powell -49kg and Catrin Jones -55kg and Youth Olympian Ellie Pryor also -55kg. Hannah Powell, of HAWFC, achieved a 6/6 performance, set some new Welsh senior records, and reached a 147kg total in preparation for the European Championships in April, Bethan Roberts of Diamond Conditioning won the silver medal with a total of 109kg. Ellie Pryor won the silver medal, set some new Welsh Junior records at -55kg, achieved personal bests in competition and made a significant improvement on her total, which last year won her a senior medal at the British Championships, where she was one of the youngest competitors in the group. Catrin Jones, of Bangor Weightlifting Club achieved a 168kg total, winning the Welsh title, setting new Welsh senior records, and also achieving personal bests in competition and very close to the senior British records in her category. The bronze medal went to Evolve lifter Becky Hickman with a total of 122kg, closely followed by youth lifter Lotty Whalley of SAW with a 117kg total.
Next up was the Men’s -61kg, -67kg, -73kg & -81kg categories. In this group, Ben Foggo of Diamond Conditioning achieved a total of 180kg to take the Welsh -61kg title. In the -67kg category Mikey Farmer hit a 255kg total to take the national title and set some new Welsh Senior records in his return from an injury towards the end of 2018, silver position went to youth lifter Leighton Yates of HAWFC with a 173kg total who was closely followed by bronze medallist Sam Roberts, Diamond Conditioning, who achieved a 172kg total.
The -73kg category saw the return of Commonwealth Champion Gareth Evans, lifting in his first event since last years Commonwealth Games. Gareth achieved a 281kg total, setting some new British records and taking the Welsh title in preparation for the European Championships in April. Silver position was awarded to Jacob Hill-Izani of Bangor Weightlifting Club with a 191kg total. Rhodri Beynon of Synergi Weightlifting Club achieved 6/6 attempts and won the -81kg title with a 243kg total, the silver position went to Iwan Biffin of Atomic Fitness with a total of 234kg and youth lifter Joshua Lynch of HAWFC came in third position with a total of 228kg at just 15 years old.
The third group saw the Women’s -59 & -64kg categories, with Sian Peters taking the gold in the -59kg division with a 143kg total, followed by Stephanie Jones of Llanelli WL in silver position with a 139kg total and Niamh Roach of SAW took bronze with a 117kg total. The -64kg category included 7 competitors, Chloe Briggs became Welsh Champion with a 156kg total, followed by Evolve lifter Awen Davies in silver place with a 153kg total and the bronze went to another Evolve lifter, Kathryn Joseph with a 150kg total.
Next up was the Men’s -89kg, -96kg and -102kg categories. A battle between Ryan Wilson and Dave Lewis saw Ryan ultimately come out on top with a 255kg total to just pip Dave to the national title at -89kg, and Louis Thomas of SAW took bronze in this group with a total of 231kg.
In the -96kg category was just one lifter, James Hart of SAW, who achieved the Welsh title with a 225kg total.
In the 102kg category, Harry Nelms took first place with a 266kg total and Tomos Ellis-Williams reached a 260kg total and silver medal position.
The final group of the day saw Lauren Burley -71kg battle it out with Enlli Jones of Bangor Weightlifting, with both lifters finishing with a 100kg Clean and Jerk and Lauren’s 78kg Snatch putting her firmly in the lead by 5kg to take the gold medal with a 178kg total, Enlli finished with a 172kg total and Commonwealth athlete Holly Knowles came in third position with a 170kg total. Anita Madan achieved a 158kg total in the -76kg category to take the title and this concluded the competition for the day.
Ellie Pryor (pictured with Bangor University Director of Sport, Richard Bennett) was awarded her Youth Athlete of the Year 2018 award from the December Weightlifting Wales Awards evening, as she was unable to attend the event. In 2018, Ellie won a senior British medal, competed at the European Youth Championships, and became a Youth Olympian when she was selected to compete in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. Weightlifting Wales congratulates Ellie for such a fantastic and successful 2018!