Gold for Hunter in squat at IPF World Sub-Junior and Junior Powerlifting Championships

- 16-year-old fails to land a total, but sums up experience as superb

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Guyana closed off its participation at the 2023 edition of the World Men’s Juniors and Sub-Juniors Classic Championships in Cluj Napoca, Romania, with a gold medal in the squat attained by 16-year-old Romeo Hunter contesting the 83kg Class.

Battling youths from 16 other nations at this marquee event, Hunter, the holder of 18 National records in the Open and Under-18 (Sub-Junior) Divisions, proved that he has world-class pedigree by out-squatting his rivals.

Romeo Hunter stands atop the podium in Romania

His 265.0kg (584lbs) squat proved to be unchartered territory for his rivals and he duly earned the gold medal on the world stage, on debut, a huge achievement for himself and Guyana. Italy’s Di Fabrizio Di Felice took the silver with 257.5kg, while the bronze went to Thomas Scanlon (252.5kg) of New Zealand.

His first attempt was 255.0kg (562lbs), which was good; his second attempt was the 265.0kg gold medal lift which was initially passed 2-1 by the officiating Referees only to be overturned by the Jury.

However, on his third attempt, Hunter made it count and cemented his name as the strongest Sub-Junior squatter in the world, proudly representing the ‘Golden Arrowhead’. Hunter’s gold is complimented by Dominic Tyrrell’s deadlift silver attained in the 74kg Junior category on Wednesday.

With the lead in the squat, Hunter was eyeing even more glory for Guyana and himself, but was unable to get any of his bench presses at 162.5kg, which meant that he was not going to be able to get a Total.

He was allowed to continue lifting and did the deadlift where the scores were counted.

However, his coach and father Oudit Seenarain, and himself along with Manager/Coach Franklin Brisport agreed that the experience gained by continuing to lift would be invaluable in years to come as Hunter has two more years as a Sub-Junior.

He went into the competition ranked ninth in the world in the 83kg Class and made his presence felt, despite not being able to land a total.

Commenting after the presentation ceremony, young Hunter said that he was first and foremost grateful to God for allowing him the health and strength to be able to compete against the best in the world.

“This is something that I have always dreamt about and it has become a reality, I don’t think it has really sunk in as yet. The journey has been good for me but it did not actually work out the way I would have loved, as I was unable to get any of my bench presses. However, I have made my country and myself proud by winning the squat gold here in Romania and proving to the world that I am the best.”

Hunter was high in praise for his dad, Oudit, the mentorship, and guidance he has given him over the years.

“My dad must be afforded lots of praise for shaping me into a world-class athlete and to him I am very grateful along with my family. I would like to also thank the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation, Minister of Sport Charles Ramson Jr., Director of Sport, Mr. Steve Ninvalle, and the Guyana Olympic Association for all the support they have given to me and the team here in Romania. I will be back again and make up for this, trust me and believe in me as you have done now.”

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