Winning a world championship is nothing new for Moose Jaw powerlifter Rhaea Stinn.
Having to push for every last kilogram to get the job done?
That’s something different altogether.
But there Stinn was at the International Powerlifting Federation Open Equipped Worlds during the Nov. 18 weekend in Drushininkai, Lithuania, needing to clear 202.5 kilograms with her last attempt in the deadlift to have a serious shot at gold. And as has been the case so many times in her career, Stinn was up to the challenge.
A clear deadlift, a 650-kilogram total and a fourth World championship.
“It was definitely a close competition, there were essentially four of us who could have taken it home that day,” Stinn said of how close things were. “It wasn’t the best performance for me numbers-wise, so I was fortunate to be able to make attempts and get a high enough total that was good enough to beat everyone else that day.”
Competing in the 84-kilogram class, Stinn opened with a 245 kg (539-pound) squat and followed with a 202.5 kg (445.5 pound) bench press to set up the deadlift showdown with perennial Worlds contender Daria Rusanenko.
“It was another situation where I knew I had to make my final deadlift,” Stinn said. “Daria had an attempt where if I would have missed my final deadlift, she would have tried to go for the win, and me making my final deadlift made her change her final deadlift to drop back and try and win silver… So it was a close one, but I knew that was going to be the case going in with how my numbers had been in training and knowing what the other girls were capable of.”
Stinn finished 9.5 kg ahead of Rusanenko, and had she missed her final deadlift, the Ukrainian would have only needed to add five kilograms to her last deadlift attempt to win gold.
“Sometimes at a World championship you’re not going to put up your absolute best numbers because you have chase what’s there that day and sometimes have to call numbers based on what other people are doing as well, knowing that some people are better squatters or better deadlifters,” Stinn said. “I know I’m never going to be deadlifting last because the deadlift isn’t my best event, so I have to go in with the highest subtotal I can and pull enough to hang on in the end.”
Mission accomplished, once again.
And Stinn isn’t done just yet.
With more than two decades of competition and wins in every major event under her belt, it would be easy to simply walk away while on top, but Stinn feels there are still more championships there to win -- including another crack at the big one, the World Games.
“The next World Games is 2025, so 2024 will be a qualifier for that and that’s the plan, try and qualify for my fifth World Games, which is pretty crazy,” Stinn said, adding that the success never gets old.
"It’s been about 20 years now and a huge part of my life all that time and I’m really thankful for that. It’s always special no matter how many times you win it, hearing the national anthem when you’re up there and being able to represent the country on an international platform is always an honour."