After 3 long years on hiatus the "in person" IWF World Masters Championships was held in Orlando, Florida from the 1-11 December, 2022.
This prestigious event attracted over 800 competitors with entries from over 80 nations.
Six New Zealand athletes took the opportunity to attend this event, three from New Zealand and three who live full time in Australia and who are WNZ members.
Everyone lifted extremely well, and the ladies who were all part of the Women’s Team ended up taking out 3rd placing in the teams event behind USA and Canada. Many comments were made on how well our small team had performed at this event, so we should all be very proud of our Masters achievements.
The venue and competition were professionally set up by USA Masters Weightlifting and the event was very well run with 2 platforms running side by side with 41 sessions over the 10 days. Womens entries continue to increase as weightlifting becomes more and more popular, and the age group increased in the Mens category to 85+ years – so if you are just starting out in masters just think - you could be lifting for the next 50 years! Goals!
Lyndsay Cunningham was the first NZ athlete out on the platform and had a brilliant performance achieving 6 out of 6 lifts and breaking NZ, Oceania, and Commonwealth records in the process. Lyndsay’s performance awarded her the Silver medal in the Womens 65-69 years 59kg category.
Kirsten Walker lifted two days later and went 3 for 6 and came away with the Oceania and Commonwealth records in Snatch, C&J and Total. Kirsty’s efforts, in an exciting competition, took out the bronze medal by 1kg in the Womens 55-59 years 76kg category.
Claire Nahi's arrival to Orlando was not ideal with missed connections, delays and an unplanned overnight stop on the way over, however she came out firing and lifted 6 from 6. Claire also broke the Oceania and Commonwealth records in Snatch, C&J and Total. She achieved the Silver medal for her consistent lifting in the Womens 50-54 year, 87+kgs category.
Our next NZ lifter Danica Hampton took to the platform 4 days later and lifted 5 from 6. Breaking Snatch and Total records for Oceania and Commonwealth, and in the closest battle out of our Masters, lifted the total first to take the bronze medal in the Womens 40-45 years 87+ category.
Sarah Florence was next up on the same day and lifted 3 from 6. As this was the biggest international event Sarah has attended, her technique was spot on, and was just unlucky on her missed lifts. She showed lots of potential to lift well at future events and seemed to really enjoyed herself.
Our only male athlete was Dylan Fowler, last up but not least, with a very strong performance in the Mens 35-39 years 89kg with 5 from 6 lifts. He hit PB's in the Snatch, C&J and Total. Dylan's total awarded him 6th pace in a large session and he was very happy with his performance.
Overall the small team made a big impression and achieved great results. Congratulations to all!
And finally, a very big thanks you to WNZ Master's Commission chair Kirsty Walker for the massive input into co-ordinating the NZL team communication, selection, and admin requirements.
This year the 2023 World Championships will be in Poland in August, so if you are inspired by our Masters performance, and think you would like to travel and attend, keep an eye out for the information on entries, venue and information which will be available in the upcoming months.