TWO Donegal athletes won world titles at the World Drug Free Powerlifting Championships which were held Germany recently.
Mick Coleman from Stranorlar and Raphoe’s Maria McShane, members of the Motiv8 Powerlifting Club in Letterkenny, won titles for bench press and deadlift respectively.
The two competitors were part of a group of 80 Irish competitors who travelled to the event which took place in Dusseldorf from June 5-7.
Mick competed in the 110kg category and won by benching 160kg, while Maria was competing in the deadlift where she had to face the former world champion from Russia.
Omagh native Mick got into first Strongman and then Powerlifting after a knee injury at the age of 28 preventing him from playing Gaelic for his home club Drumragh Sarsfields GAC and football for Dunbreen Rovers FC.
“I started taking part in Strongman competitions when I had to stop playing Gaelic and football, but then moved on to powerlifting. I was 28 at the time and still wanted to compete in sports.”
In his four years powerlifting to-date, Mick has already won two titles, winning two gold medals at the European Championships in 2011.
Mick said the weekend of the World Championships in Dusseldorf was like a blur with all the excitement surrounding the event.
“It’s very exciting when you see over 200 people from all over the world there competing. Despite being indoors, with no air conditioning in the 35 degree heat, it was still very exciting.”
Mick, who works as a strength and conditioning coach with Motiv8, will now spend the summer preparing for the European Drug Free Powerlifting Championships which take place in Wexford this September.
Maria McShane managed to outclass all of the competitors in her 55kg category where she won the competition and also claimed a new Irish record by lifting 130kg.
This is despite the fact that the 26-year-old has only been training in the sport for six months.
“I had been doing any training for years so I decided to join the gym and on the day that I joined they were doing powerlifting.”
Maria lifted 100kg that first day so, one could say, she had a natural talent for the sport. Maria competed in her first powerlfiting competition in Dublin last February and coming second in her class, she qualified for the World and European Championships. “It’s a very addictive sport as you can see results very quickly.”
In preparation for the World Championships, Maria was training five days a week, while still working at her day job in Pramerica. “The heat was unreal in Dusseldorf and hard to compete in, but it was great to see people of allages, up into their 70s, competing.”
Maria, who is also competing in the Europeans, said her friends don’t know what to say when they hear that she is a powerlifter, never mind a World Champion in the sport. “They don’t say too much, but they always take the hand out of me, because they can’t believe I’m a powerlifter, for all the size of me,” she laughed.
Nigel Drein, one of the club’s coaches, said Mick’s win was a great personal achievement as it was another accolade he could add to his previous international wins. “However, this was Maria’s second tournament and only her first international event. So her win is great for someone who only took up the sport six months ago.”
The Motiv8 Powerlifting Club, based in Glencar Retail Park, was established in September 2013 at the Motiv8 Fitness Centre, and currently has 20 members (six male, 14 female) and they hope to establish a Teen Power Lifting Club in the near future. The club is affiliated to the Irish Drug Free Powerlifting Association. “Where possible we run random drug tests on our members as it is imperative that all members are drug free,” said Nigel.
The club would like to thank their sponsors who contributed towards sending Mick and Maria to the championships, Brian Curran of LK Pets, John Watson, Watson Hire.