Smith, Green have the power | SASCOC - SASCOC

Smith, Green have the power

By Mark Etheridge

South Africa will have the combination of youth and experience in the powerlifting event at this month’s 2009 World Games in Taiwan.

Potchefstroom schoolboy Johan Smith represents the youthful part of the blend while Durban schoolteacher Brian Green has the experience.

They make up a team of just two powerlifters in the South African team for Kaohsiung City. South Africa will take part in 11 of the close to 30 sports on show.

The two will be accompanied by Peter Erasmus, an accomplished powerlifter in his own right. He was the first South African powerlifter to compete at the World Games and placed eighth in the 35-strong competition in Duisberg, Germany four years ago.

Competitors are required to complete three disciplines, in contest order: squat, bench press and deadlift.

Smith will compete in the 90kg category and Green in the 125kg division.

Says Erasmus: “Johan normally lifts 310kg in the squat, benchpresses 180kg or so and then his deadlift is around 250kg — not bad for a guy in matric and also considering that powerliffters normally only reach their peak at around 35 years of age.

Durban High School teacher Green is aged 35 and lifts 340kg, 250kg and in excess of 300kg in the various disciplines. Green is the 2008 overall SA champion powerfifting champion.

A total of 22 countries will be in action in the powerlifting event with American having a strong team of 12.

Can South Africa bring back a medal. “Normally I would say that’s a tough call but with the Russians apparently not taking part (due to the country’s ongoing suspension for anti-doping violations) we may be in with a chance.”

Erasmus reckons the Americans and Japanese should account for most of the medals.