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1 Mar, 2012 07:43

Top powerlifters gear up for Euros at Moscow Open

The big guys were out in force in the Russian capital over the weekend with more than 500 powerlifters arriving for the Moscow Open.

Where there’s a will there’s a weight, and the powerlifters are a fine example of the triumph of the human spirit.The first Moscow Open was held back in 2008. Today, it has evolved into an important milestone on the way to the European Championship, with more and more ready to bulk up for their chance.“Each tournament that we stage proves time and again that there is an ever-increasing number of people who want to lead a healthy lifestyle,” Artem Larionov, World Powerlifting Congress (WPC) representative and Russian record holder, said. “And if their choice is powerlifting or bench pressing, it makes us very happy. There are over 500 people here but I hope that number will grow into thousands in years to come.”There are two events at the tournament held across all accepted weight categories for men, women, juniors and seniors.First is Powerlifting, which consists of three disciplines – the squat, bench press and deadlift. And second is the stand-alone Bench Press in which Moscow’s Aleksey Khvatov managed an eye-watering 192 kilos.“To be honest, I wanted to press a heavier load,” he said. “But it’s OK. I won in any case. The greatest part about it is that my friends were here to witness my effort. I’m glad that this sport is developing like that because you could not imagine an event like this 10 years ago.”No powerlifting competition would be complete without its seniors – or veterans, as they are sometimes referred to in Russia.One of major advantages of this sport is that it’s available to anyone at almost any age, starting at just 13 years old.Another selling point is that even the rookies can be record-breakers, like 45-old-old Sergey Mavrenkov. This compact powerhouse lifted his first weight five years ago, but captured to two Moscow Region records in a row at the event.“Powerlifting allows you to always be well-toned and keep your body in perfect form,” Mavrenkov stressed. “A person becomes more motivated not only during practice, but in life in general, actually, your quality of life drastically improves. I don’t know what it is like in other gyms but our club the Red October has also helped me find friends with common interests and hobbies.”The Moscow open is the biggest regional Power-Lifting competition in Russia. It might be only four years old, but the number of participants has already grown from 37 Muscovites to 530 representatives from all over the country.