Rhaea Fowler’s junior powerlifting career ended just as she dreamed it would — standing atop the podium in her hometown listening to O Canada with gold medals around her neck.
The Moose Jaw powerlifter won the IPF junior world 84+ kg title Saturday afternoon at the Exhibition Convention Centre.
“It’s something I’ve been working towards for the past nine years you could say — but for sure the last 2 1/2 years, since we knew we would be hosting this championship in my hometown in my last year as a junior,” said Fowler who said she was “mauled” backstage after she clinched the title.
“There was a lot of hugs and crying and tears.”
Fowler’s battle with Russia’s Olga Tikhomirova came down to the last lift. Fowler had deadlifted 195 kg on her last lift and forced Tikhomirova to lift 217.5 kg to beat her. Tikhomirova hadn’t missed a lift all day, but the final weight was too much for her sending a partisan standing room only crowd into a loud celebration.
“It was very loud in there,” said Fowler. “Coming out for my opening squat, the roar that took over the building was something I hadn’t really expected or imagined.
“It definitely helped. Some of my lifts were rough today, but the crowd definitely helped me out. I knew they were all out there supporting me.”
Fowler totaled 582.5 kg and Tikhomirova was second with a 575 kg total.
Fowler was third after the squat where she lifted 230 kg. She led after each of her two lifts, but missed her only lift of the contest to drop to third.
She moved back into first overall with a strong day in the bench press. She easily won the bench press contest with a lift of 157.5 kg. That helped her open a 20 kg lead on Tikhomirova heading into the deadlift.