Lifting a national title
TODD Atkinson has only been in the sport of powerlifting for 12 months, but he is now a national champion.
Todd, who is trained by Greg Palmer of West Ballina, on July 29 won the 100kg open division of the bench-press competition at the Australian Powerlifting and Bench Press Championships held in Brisbane's Queen Street Mall over two days.
Todd lifted 155kg on the first of his three lifts to take the title.
He lifted 175kg on his other lifts, but they were disqualified on technical faults.
Three judges keep a close eye on the competitors as they lift, looking for errors in form as the lift is made the competition is not just about who lifts the heaviest weight.
Greg said 'you can lift the side of a house, but if you can't do it technically right, you may as well not bother'. Todd was encouraged by his mates to take up the sport.
The national championship was his third competition lift. He qualified in February with a lift of 140kg. He said taking a national title within 12 months was 'definitely a surprise'.
"I didn't go up expecting to win," the 44-year-old said. His target now is to lift 200kg within the next 12 months. Todd trains about four to five nights each week at Greg Palmer's gym in his West Ballina backyard.