After 11 years away from the sport, Murray Bridge powerlifter Kevin Conway has made one hell of a comeback.
Conway recently competed Global Powerlifting Committee (GPC) Australia Aged Nationals in Melbourne and broke the deadlift world record for his age and class, completing a lift of 252.5 kilograms.
Conway said it felt good to break the record, but he was fairly confident heading into the competition.
“I really just wanted to break a world record,” he said. “I saw the previous world record weight and was pretty sure I could top it, so I trained and I did it officially.”
In May, Conway competed at the GPC Open State Titles in the open men’s 100kg weight class. He placed third and set an Australian Masters 54-59 age group deadlift record of 243 kilograms.
Two weeks later Conway competed in the Committee of Australia Powerlifting Organisations (CAPO) open state titles where he placed first in the 100 kilograms weight class and set four Australian Masters 54-59 age group records in the squat, bench, deadlift and total categories.
Conway overcame several obstacles in setting the 252.5 kilogram world record. He had open-heart surgery in May 2016 and tore his left bicep tendon off the bone while setting the record at the CAPO titles, requiring surgery to repair the damage.
As a result of this, Conway was unable to work for almost four months, and as soon as he was able, was back into training.
Conway said one of the appeals of the sport for him was overcoming these kinds of obstacles, and the aspect of individual competition.
I really just wanted to break a world record. I saw the previous world record weight and was pretty sure I could top it...Kevin Conway
“In powerlifting you don’t rely on anyone but yourself,” he said.
“You don’t have a team to fall back on, so if you don’t do your best you can’t blame anyone else.”
Conway will compete at a CAPO deadlift only sanctioned competition in Adelaide on December 10, where he would aim to break his own world record.
“I’ll be aiming to lift 275 kilograms, so I’ll try and improve on my record quite a bit,” he said.
If people wanted to get into powerlifting, Conway said it was best to catch him training at Anytime Fitness on Adelaide Road.