Powerlifter Farhanna Farid rewrites world record
The records just keep tumbling for national powerlifter Farhanna Farid, who rewrote her Under-52kg dead lift world record at the South-east Asian (SEA) Cup 2022 in Johor Bahru on Saturday, just three months after notching her first world mark.
Competing at the Hotel Trove, the 29-year-old lifted 201kg to eclipse her previous record of 200.5kg, which she had set at the World Open Classic Powerlifting Championships in Sun City, South Africa in June.
Despite Farhanna picking up the sport just five years ago, Powerlifting Singapore vice-president and national head coach Ng Jun Jie believes that the sky is the limit for her.
He said: "She can load literally any number so it encapsulates everything very well - she's thinking about the next one, she's thinking about the next time she's going to step on to the international platform.
"It really opens up the possibilities of what she can do."
The outing across the Causeway was a successful one for Singapore's 48-strong contingent, who finished as the best team overall. Based on their total scores for the three lifts, they won 26 gold, seven silver and nine bronze medals in the four-day event.
Farhanna was crowned best female lifter while Powerlifting Singapore president Clinton Lee, who competed in the men's Under-74kg, was named the best male athlete.
Apart from Farhanna, five others - Shirley Chu, Nigel Ng, Patricia Lynn Meyer, Saudi Tan and Yunie Yang - also set Asian records in their respective events.
Chu, who competed in the women's juniors U-47kg category, was relieved to get the squat record after almost missing out on her chance to compete.
During the weigh-in two hours before her event, Chu was still 300 grams over the class limit and she had to go through an arduous process that involved hot and cold showers multiple times to cut weight.
The hour-long process took a physical and mental toll on her as she started to doubt whether she should be competing in the first place.
But she eventually made weight and lifted 123kg to rewrite the previous mark of 115kg set by Japan's Kani Haruka in 2018.
The 22-year-old undergraduate said: "I feel more relieved than happy because the squat record was narrowly missed in 2019 before Covid hit.
"This is my last junior year (ages 19 to 23) and I finally got the platform to showcase what I had been training for."
Teammate Nigel Ng had gone into the competition confident of notching an Asian record in the bench event in the men's Under-83kg Junior category. His 173.5 effort was enough to better Lee's previous record of 173kg.
While he did not manage to accomplish his goal ofa perfect meet - he missed his last deadlift attempt - the Ngee Ann Polytechnic student, 19, said: "When I missed (the deadlift) I was quite bummed out about it. But it just makes me more motivated to keep training harder and secure that in the future."
Even though Meyer, a Singapore permanent resident, was in the United States to visit her family for about five months in 2022, she stuck to her training regimen and got feedback from her trainer who analysed her lifts through video recordings.
This paid off as the 67-year-old, who started powerlifting after she was diagnosed with osteoporosis, claimed the women's U-52kg Master 3 dead lift record (122.5kg).
Meyer, whose goal is to deadlift 125kg and bench press 40kg, said: "It's been quite inspiring to see that I'm able to continue getting stronger over the years."
Tan set Asian records in all three events - the squat (150kg), the bench press (85kg) and the dead lift (167.5kg) - in the women's U-76kg Master 1, which is a new weight class.
The 42-year-old said: "Through an achievement like that, I'm motivated that I can send a message that women, even at a certain age can still achieve excellence in sport."