Marham Celebrates World Success

A Sergeant (Sgt) from the Survival Equipment Section has become the World Champion within the sport of Powerlifting for the fifth time in six years.

The only break in the title collection came from having a baby last year, that’s right the World Champion Powerlifter is a woman.

Sgt Annie Thomas, who has just been posted into IX(B) Squadron at RAF Marham, had been selected to represent Great Britain at the World Single Lift Championships in Muskegon USA so had spent barely a week in the unit before travelling for the event.

Her speciality is the deadlift, a powerlifting exercise where the bar is lifted from the floor until the knees are locked out and the shoulders are similarly locked back. Although this may not sound too difficult to the lay person it must be understood at this level the athletes are lifting over two times their own bodyweight.

Ann was competing at her fifth world event and was hoping for a good result having missed the last event in Russia to give birth to her son, Ruben. Her preparations began at the end of last year when she participated in the European Championships in Malta having only given birth four months before. Her performance here saw her selected to represent the GB team at this year’s World Championships and as the ladies team captain.

Preparation for the competition had gone well and having successfully completed her last training session in the gym at Marham she travelled to Chicago two days before the event confident of a top three placing.

The venue for the event was the Freunenhall in Muskegon that had hosted American X-Factor only the week before. The championships had attracted a lot of local media interest and the regional TV crew was filming on the day. The female flights, each group of lifters are divided into flights for the event, are always first on and with a nearly full auditorium Ann successfully regained her world title with a lift of 140kgs at only 58kgs bodyweight. She narrowly missed her third attempt at 147.5kgs with a 2-1 decision against her. This would have equalled her own Military World record had she been successful.

Within the world federation any military lifter is automatically entered into a separate event just for armed forces personnel, in this event she was also the champion and was part of the Combined Services team that won the Military World Team Champions for the second year following its achievements in Russia.

Sgt Thomas now looks forward to the Combined Service Championships and has been selected for the European championships in Estonia not only as part of the team GB squad but also again as the ladies team captain.

In preparation for next years RAF Championships there will be a powerlifting club starting in the station gym very soon, all those interested should contact Ann on Ext: 3255. All standards are welcome and it would be good to see more female lifters.

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