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Pulling their weight and more

A quartet of Shepparton powerlifters has hoisted more than 2000kg between them at the Melbourne Open at the weekend.

MATTHEW GALEA August 28, 2014 3:05am

Shingai Mareya, Gerry Belashaw, Chris Forte and Carmelina Trapani all came home with recognition for their powerlifting talents at the Melbourne Open.


Four Shepparton powerlifters lifted a whopping total of 2038kg at the weekend’s Melbourne Open.

To put that into perspective, Shingai Mareya, Carmelina Trapani, Chris Forte and Gerry Belashaw — who all train out of Goulburn Valley CrossFit — lifted the equivalent of US$1million in one dollar notes between them.

Each powerlifter performs three lifts — a squat, bench-press and a deadlift — with the total weight lifted across the three accumulated to a final score.

The Melbourne Open is one of Powerlifting Australia’s premier events and is used to qualify athletes for Australian selection, which is now a real prospect for Forte and Mareya after their efforts.

Forte took out the 74kg class by lifting a massive 547.5kg across the three efforts — 185kg in the squat, 127.5kg on the bench-press and 235kg in the deadlift in only his second competition.

‘‘I’ve won two from two, but I always want more, so I just want to get into training again,’’ Forte said.

‘‘Originally I wanted to do bodybuilding, but I didn’t like the idea of shaving my whole body and doing dance routines, so I took this up after meeting Shingai.’’

Mareya himself lifted an incredible 645kg and was the winner as the sole entry in the 105kg men’s open class.

He squatted 240kg, benched 125kg and deadlifted 280kg — his best effort yet since taking up the sport nine months ago.

‘‘We’ve got four of us going to comps and we’ve got a few other training, so we’re getting more and more numbers,’’ Mareya said.

‘‘It’s been a good nine months, and the result was an improvement, so it’s good as a base to continue to work off.’’

Trapani was also a winner with her lifts of 100kg in the squat, 47.5kg in the bench press and 155kg deadlift — giving her a total of 285.5kg which won her the 75kg women’s open, as well as the best female lifter.

‘‘It was only my second comp, so I’m very happy with the result,’’ Trapani said.

‘‘I only trained for three or four weeks for this comp specifically, so it’s a good result.’’

Belashaw also smashed out a fantastic total of 560kg with a 205kg squat, 125kg benchpress and 230kg deadlift as the only athlete in the Australian Masters’ 40-49 93kg class, including setting an unofficial record in the squat in his division which is awaiting official recognition.

‘‘A lot of hours go into it, it’s quite brutal,’’ Belashaw said.

‘‘My training was interrupted by injury, so I didn’t quite get the result I was after, but a lot of it is self coaching and research as well.

‘‘It’s a worthwhile sport. You don’t get paid for it, but you do it for the love of lifting.’’

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