Sanmogan cops four gold, one silver on South American Powerlifting debut

- Abrigo also secures gold


Twenty-one-year-old Sarah Sanmogan, competing in the 69kg Junior category, made a memorable debut, battling against all the challenges thrown at the athletes to power her way to four gold and one silver medal when the 10th edition of the Annual FESUPO Regional Powerlifting Championships in Lima, Peru.

It was unprecedented territory for the two Guyanese females on day one of the competition and the host nation, Brazil, Suriname, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, and Columbia.

The Fesupo Executive Committee was surely out of its depths as it failed to have the requisite systems in place to deal with the number of athletes, well over one hundred. The Guyanese were slated to enter the platform at around 15:00hrs, Peru time, one hour ahead of Guyana.

However, they never got into action until after 18:43hrs.

The deadlift never got started until after 12:58hrs, with Abrigo taking the final lift of the day at 02:45hrs, a powerful display of grit and determination as she 202.5kg (446lb).

It was a historic and memorable display from the Guyanese duo and, by extension, the other female athletes affected by the lack of proper systems in place.

Nonetheless, the show continued, and the performances were heartwarming in the very cold conditions here in Peru.

Sanmogan, who came into the competition as the highest-ranked junior in her class, showed why she was as she racked up a best squat of 155.0kg, which was good enough for the silver medal behind, gold medalist Daniela Pulceio of Chile (165.5) and bronze medalist, Luana Delgado of Uruguay, with 152.5kg.

Somehow, the coldness of the arena added energy to Sanmogan’s performances as she, despite being on the verge of bombing out as she failed to get her first and second attempts in the bench press, finally made good on her last attempt of 80.0kg which was good enough to land the gold medal.

Sanmogan, who also entered the South American Women’s Classic Bench Press Championships, took the gold medal from Pulceio and Delgado, in that order.

The deadlift also proved to be golden for Sanmogan whose 175.0kg was 5kg better than Pulecio and Delgado, who managed 142.5kg.

The young Guyanese Total of 410.0kg sealed the gold, Pulecio being edged out by 2kg with Delgado having to settle for the bronze with 357.5.

Abrigo, contesting the 76kg Open category, had the distinction of closing off an unforgettable day with an unforgettable performance to seal the deadlift and overall gold medals.

After the first two lifts, squat and bench press, Abrigo was well behind her rivals, Iolanda Costa of Brazil, the number one ranked athlete going into the competition, and the home girl, Mia Hurtado, who was ranked, second.

With an accumulated figure of 237.5kg as a result of her best squat of 162.5 and bench press of 75.0kg,

Abrigo was trailing Costa up to then in the gold medal position with 282.5kg (squat 170.0kg/bench press 112.5kg) and Hurtado, in silver up to that point with 242.5kg (squat 157.5kg/bench press 85.0kg).

Keisha Abrigo powers up 202.5kg (446lbs) in the wee hours of Thursday morning in Lima, Peru.

Conscious of her ability to blow away the opposition in the third and final lift, that’s exactly what Abrigo accomplished.

Her massive pull of 202.5kg (446lb) was enough to relegate her competition to the silver and bronze medals. Hurtado managed 180.0kg, which was only good enough for the bronze medal.

Abrigo won the South American Women’s Classic Bench Press Championships, 76kg Open bronze medal.

Despite taking the deadlift bronze with 155.0 kg, Costa walked away with the overall silver medal with her Total of 437.5kg.

It was a massive performance by the young ladies, GAPLF President Franklin Wilson informed, noting that being on the ground with the team and seeing all the members supporting and looking out for the females was pleasing in the circumstances.

GAPLF President Franklin Wilson with the golden duo of Sarah Sanmogan (right) and Keisha Abrigo at Fesupo, 2023 in Lima, Peru.

Wilson commented: “This is nothing short of a vintage performance and display of real grit and determination as well as discipline by these athletes. One had to be on the ground to understand what has been achieved by these athletes. We were at the venue before 08:00hrs, and they never got going until close to 19:00hrs.

They ended up going until almost 3 AM here in Peru, This has never happened before in all my years covering this sport as a journalist and now being the President.

I’d also like to mention the efforts of Coach Kerma Singh and all the members of Team Guyana, including 79-year-old Naranjan Singh, who spent every minute with us, lending support.”

Wilson reiterated that it was nothing less than a beautiful display of genuine team spirit in challenging conditions. It was another late night of lifting yesterday, Thursday, with Kheon Evans battling in the Men’s Classic Powerlifting Championships, 83kg Open Class.

He took on lifters from Bolivia, Uruguay, Columbia, Chile, Brazil, Suriname, and the host nation.

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