Highlights — 11 August 2018 — by Courtney Menzies
Belizeans win gold and bronze at powerlifting competition in Mexico

MEXICO CITY, Mexico, Wed. Aug. 8, 2018– The Belize Powerlifting Association (BPA) recently sent three of its athletes to compete in the 16th Annual North American Powerlifting Federation (NAPF) 2018 Championships held this year in Mexico City. The competition took place from August 1 to 5, and Belize came home with three gold medals and one bronze.

The competition is sanctioned by the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) and it is meant to give power-lifters in the region a chance to compete regionally in order to prepare themselves for the IPF’s World Championships that are held every year.

The competition is open to any country whose powerlifting federation or association is recognized by the NAPF, and that has nominated athletes to compete. Apart from Belize, athletes from Mexico, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and Panama also competed.

According to an official release issued by BPA, powerlifting is “a strength-based sport in which athletes compete within weight classes and age groups to put up the highest possible total between three lifts: the squat, bench, and deadlift.”

As previously mentioned, BPA sent three athletes, Ryan Bood-Usher, 20, Khalid Usher, 20, and Kaylon Cadle-Godoy, 23, as well as a representative/coach from the association, Ashley McFadzean, 24, to compete.

Bood-Usher placed first and won gold medals in two competitions: the 59kg (130lbs) Junior Weight Class, and the 59kg Open Weight Class. He totaled 480kg (1058.22lbs); weighing in at 58.4kg (128.75lbs), squatting 147.5kg (325.18lbs), benching 85kg (187.39lbs), and deadlifting 247.5kg (545.64lbs).

Usher placed third and won a bronze medal in the 93kg (205.03lbs) Junior Weight Class. He weighed in at 86kg (189.6lbs), squatted 215kg (474lbs), benched 120kg (264.55lbs) and deadlifted 235kg (518lbs), totaling 570kg (1256.63lbs).

Cadle-Godoy also placed first in the 120kg (264.6lbs) Open Weight Class. Totaling 772.5kg (1703lbs), he weighed in at 119.5kg (263.45lbs), squatted 275kg (606.27lbs), benched 202.5kg (443.44lbs), and deadlifted 295kg (650.39lbs).

The BPA is a relatively young association, only forming in March of this year after 3 members, Bood-Usher, Usher, and Kevin Aké, who would later become president of the association, travelled to Mexico City for Mexico’s national powerlifting competition, but were unable to place because they were not Mexican citizens. They then came up with the idea that Belize should have its own association to represent its power-lifters and provide opportunities for them to compete abroad.

After returning from Mexico, the three of them consulted with McFadzean and another powerlifting colleague, Rong Xu, and they got in contact with IPF’s Secretary-General, Robert Keler, to learn about the requirements to have the association recognized by IPF and NAPF.

According to Aké, “in order to be acknowledged by the IPF, the association had to have a constitution stating the detailed purpose of the association, the name [of the association] had to be legally registered in the country’s company name registry, and [it] had to be recognized by the sports committee, which in Belize’s case is the National Sports Council.”

The association, which is based in Belmopan, currently has ten members, and they are hoping to grow the sport, make it more popular in Belize. They are planning to have powerlifting meets and competitions in Belize that would allow the country to have a record of the nation’s best lifts, and discover athletes that would be able to perform on the regional or international stage.

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Deshawn Swasey

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