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Stinn sets new record in bench press at world championships

Moose Jaw standout wins International Powerlifting title by half kilogram with world-best performance
Even when it takes lifting more weight than anyone has in the history of the sport, Moose Jaw’s Rhaea Stinn still finds a way to get things done on the world powerlifting stage.

With more than 65 provincial, national and world titles under her belt heading into the recent International Powerlifting Federation World Bench Press Championships in Tokyo, Japan, there was little question the veteran competitor would be one of the ones to watch in her 72 kilogram division.

The only question was just how strong the competition would be, literally – and as it turns out, the answer was ‘extremely, and then some’.

Stinn, 30, would need to put together an unprecedented performance on her final attempt to claim her first Open Equipped bench-only title since winning the IPF championship as a junior back in 2010.

Stinn easily led the competition from the get-go, clearing an astonishing 185 kilograms (407.8 pounds) with her first lift before boosting that mark to a 190 kg (418.8  pounds) on her very next attempt, breaking her own world record of 186.0 kg set at the world three-lift championships in August.

At the time, it appeared as if that would be more than enough to claim the championship as Stinn found herself ahead of her nearest opponent by more than 12 kilograms. But things became very interesting on the third and final set of lifts -- second place competitor and perennial bench-press-only worlds contender Tetyana Melnyk of the Ukraine put together a effort for the ages, setting a new world record of 190.5 kg (419 pounds) to take the lead.

The thing about that new world mark? It would last only minutes.

Stinn would come out and put together a superhuman showing of her own, pushing 191.0 kilograms (420.2 pounds) to take first by half a kilogram.

Here’s how that lift looked.

Stinn remains the only Canadian woman to hold an IPF world record – she also holds the bench press mark in the three-lift competition at 186.0 kg, set at the world championships last August in Halmstad, Sweden – and is now a six-time world-record setter in the bench press.

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