Highlands powerlifter Melissa Pagett has won gold just one year after she discovered powerlifting.
Pagett competed at the Top Lifter IV tournament, run by Powerlifting Australia, at the Lift Performance Centre in Redfern on September 11.
Pagett competed in the 63kg weight class.
She had three attempts at a squat, dead lift and bench press.
In the first squat attempt, Pagett achieved 112.5kg squat and in her second attempt she achieved 117.5kg. Her third and final attempt was her best, with a 122.5kg squat.
Pagett then moved onto her bench press attempts. In her first attempt she lifted 57.5 kg, her next attempt was 60kg and her final attempt was 62.5kg.
In her first dead lift attempt, Pagett lifted 125kg. Her second attempt was a 130kg lift and her final attempt was 137.5kg lift.
Pagett’s total across the three lifts was 317.5kg. Her total was the highest in her weight category and she was awarded the gold medal.
“It was incredible to win. I’m relatively new to the sport so it was a massive achievement and I’m very proud of myself,” she said.
“I needed a 305kg total to win so to get so much more than that was a big achievement.”
Pagett was also named best female lifter out of every weight class.
“It was a great competition for me. Nothing is more satisfying than being able to lift more than double your body weight off the ground and know you can do more,” she said.
Pagett, 26, said she only started powerlifting just one year ago after training with Thomas Willoughby at Plus Fitness Mittagong.
“I started personal training sessions with Thomas two years ago to lose weight. I lost 35kg in total,” she said.
“I discovered powerlifting through Thomas and it was something I had never heard of. When he taught me what a back squat was I realised I really enjoyed it.”
Pagett said the encouraging spirit is something she enjoys about the sport.
“It’s a sport with so many supportive people. It doesn’t matter if you squat 20kg or 200kg every person there is yelling for you to get the bar up and do your best.”
Pagett said she will continue her training and aims to compete again December at the Elite Lifter competition.
“After each competition I’m always keen to get straight back into training and achieve the goals I’ve set for myself,” she said.
“Elite Lifter is a national competition and I hope to achieve some more great results.”
“I love this sport and I am so motivated to improve and perform at my best.”