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SA lifters in power-packed performance at Arnold Classic

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By Mark Etheridge

South African weightlifters made their presence felt at the recent Arnold Classic Africa sports events in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Three-time Commonwealth Games lifter Mona Pretorius broke three senior records and it was also a good day for the athletes from her Port Elizabeth based gym.
‘I broke three SA senior records at the weekend,’ Pretorius told Road to Rio 2016. ‘I also lifted the most I’ve ever done and got the biggest snatch ever lifted by a female in South Africa. My athletes and gym walked away with 10 medals and we also won youth boys Champ of Champs and my young boy, Thomas Farquahar, who’s just 16, broke a national youth record that has been standing for almost eight years.’
‘I lifted a 92km snatch and 117kg clean and jerk and 209kg total with a bodyweight of 64.45kg.’ Her previous records came at the IWF World Championships in the United States last year.
Pretorius didn’t get the nod for African Championships despite qualifying and had she gone she says she would have won the overall U-69kg title with a lead of  25kg with her total lifted at the Arnold Classic.
The Port Elizabeth based lifter also disclosed that an exciting opportunity has presented itself in her life, in both a business and sporting sense of the word. ‘I got a job offer to coach weightlifting in Austin, Texas and next year I’ll be doing my Phd in sports psychology.
In the picture above are (left to right): Curt Pretorius, Mona Pretorius, Farquhar and Pieter Pretorius (voted best coach at the Classic).

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In para-lifting competition it was Ricardo Fitzpatrick (second left in picture) who shone with a second international gold medal and national bench press record.
Fitzpatrick won gold five years ago at the 2011 Commonwealth Powerlifting and Bench Press Championships in England.
His victory also broke the SA bench press mark in the -83kg division when he lifted 175kg.
The team also had a visit from Arnold Schwarzenegger, where he talked about his lengthy involvement in the sport.
The Kimberley strongman now continues his build-up to next year’s Fazaa Powerlifting World Cup in Dubai, an important event being a 2020 Tokyo Paralympics qualifier.


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