Lifter Leighton's best by far

POWERHOUSE: Leighton Best on his way to setting an unofficial national record of 240kg.
POWERHOUSE: Leighton Best on his way to setting an unofficial national record of 240kg.

Christchurch powerlifter Leighton Best hoisted an unofficial New Zealand record at the South Island bench press championships at Results Gym in Nelson on Saturday.

The aptly named Best lifted a whopping 240kg to claim the best lifter award and leave a lasting impression on the packed crowd. While Leighton's huge lift was an unofficial New Zealand record in the open 93kg class, he will hope to pen his name in the official books at the New Zealand champs in Wellington next month.

Second in the open 93kg class was Nelson's top lifter, Gary Singh, who benched a 185kg best over his three lifts. Third was Greymouth's Sam Coleman with 180kg.

Twenty-two lifters from Nelson, Greymouth and Christchurch took part in the competition which attracted strong support. Spectators filled the circuit room at Results Gym to cheer on both the local and visiting lifters.

Luke Thomas was the best junior after lifting 120kg in the 93kg class.

Host and competitor Brad Josse won the best novice award, the owner of Results Gym lifting 142.5kg in the 93kg novice class.

Long-time Nelson lifter Ron Prestage was awarded best master, benching 115kg in the 74kg masters four class. Best female lifter was awarded to Ruth Donaldson who lifted 72.5kg in the women's 84+kg class.

Josse said there was a positive response from all the lifters with regards to the venue and organisation and is now looking forward to hosting more powerlifting events in the future. He said the strong showing by so many local novice lifters was an outstanding feature of the competition and great for the sport in the region.

The help of major sponsors, Supreme Biotechnologies, o2b Healthy, Powerhouse Supplements and the Monaco Resort, was greatly appreciated by organisers.]


Junior 93kg: Luke Thomas 120kg; open 83kg: Vaughan Warren 127.5kg; open 120+kg: Alex Douglas 160kg; masters four 74kg: Ron Prestage 115kg; novice 83kg: Dion Smith 137.5kg; novice 93kg: Brad Josse 142.5kg; novice 105kg: Dale Pritchard 132.5kg; women 84+kg: Ruth Donaldson 72.5kg; special Olympian 64kg: Hamish Hunt 30kg; special Olympian 74kg: Clayton Marr 85kg; special Olympian 93kg: Chris Tilley 110kg.

The Nelson Mail