Abi Graham is crowned European Classic Masters powerlifting champion
And the Cambridge scientist is now targeting world glory
Abi Graham is a master of Europe and is now aiming to conquer the world.
The 39-year-old Cambridge-based scientist became European Classic Masters powerlifting champion in her weight class at the first attempt in the competition in Sweden.
The three-time British powerlifting champion ‘graduated’ to the Masters 1 category – for ages 39 to 49 – this January, and made her bow in style.
It was not just a title and gold medal for Graham though, she also smashed European and British records.
Her deadlift of 172.5kg was a European Masters 1 record in the 63kg category, and the overall weight of 400kg was also a European record, while the benchpress of 90kg, deadlift and overall total were Masters 1 British powerlifting records.
Graham, who was part of the British Powerlifting Masters team and whose previous best international performance was seventh at the world championships last year, said: “I’ve basically been holding my own on a national level amongst significantly younger lifters so I would have been able to win the British championship last month had I entered it in the open age class.
“But it was only 10 days before the European competition, and to be perfectly honest, I decided that this year the internationals are my top priority.
“As I had held my own against younger lifters, I knew that when I was eligible to enter the masters competition, I would be a really strong competitor.
“It’s one thing to know you have the potential to do it, but it’s still really hard.
“I was anxious and nervous because I knew that this was a great chance for me and so I was really delighted when I was able to perform well.”
Graham is now targeting the world championships in Canada in June.
The British squad will be named in April, and Graham has high hopes at the event.
“Last year’s world champion in the Masters 1 won with a total of 410kg and that is my best total; I totalled that in a British competition in December,” she said.
“It’s getting more competitive every year so we will just have to see who else decides to come, but I think I’m in a strong position for a medal at least.”