Golds galore for Southside Barbell Gym Limerick at the World Powerlifting Championships

Ray Foley

BASED in Southside Barbell Gym, the Limerick powerlifting club left their mark on the World Powerlifting championships in Portugal last month with six members claiming gold.

Despite his tender years, 18-year-old Darragh O’Keeffe was the first to take home gold breaking two world records in the process, all the while competing in his first ever international event.

On the same day, Shane Brodie, Ireland’s most decorated lifter, took to the stage as he looked to add his tally of 22 world titles. Brodie collected gold in both the open category and also the masters category, breaking world records in the process to add to the 19 he already holds.

Brodie also also won the absolute overall best lifter in the championships.

Following in their footsteps, Martin O’Mahony took home gold in the masters category on Day two. In his first international, O’Mahony took home the honour of best overall Master lifter.

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16-year old Oisin Smyth announced his arrival onto the international scene bagging a gold and breaking three world records on the Day Three Raw classic. Mark Cosgrave followed by winning gold in the 90kg open category.

Ray Foley was the sixth member of the team to taste gold, another claiming the top prize in their maiden international. After initially struggling by failing his first two squat attempts, Foley surged into life to take home the gold. On Day Four Ray was back in the venue to take part in the Single-lift benchpress Masters Raw category. There he picked up a second gold medal.

Speaking on the event, Foley spoke at his pride at winning in Portugal saying,

“I failed my first two squats, so I only had one squat left in order to get through and if I didn’t get that squat I was gone.

“I went down for the their one and I stood at the bar and I could hear everyone cheering me on, I just said to myself ‘man, lets do this’.”

The three lights went green and there were tears in my eyes, I’ll be honest about it. It was emotional.”

The team was handled and help in the warm up by one of the Southside Barbell coach Jamie Hogan who travelled to Portugal to be there for the team.

The team had great support from family friends that also travelled to Portugal to witness the Limerick Powerlifting team dominate.

Total medal tally

Gold =  8

Best Master lifter = 1

Absolute overall winners = 1

World records = 4

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