James Brincat-Smith giant push earns bronze at the 2019 IPF World Bench Press Championships in Tokyo, Japan
Strength sports star James Brincat-Smith continues to make a dint in the powerlifting community after earning bronze at the 2019 IPF World Bench Press Championships in Tokyo, Japan.
Brincat-Smith was among 1,200 other athletes from all corners of the globe, who competed at the week-long championships.
Representing Great Britain, the Newark resident hit a new international personal best of 232.5kg — a 15kg increase.
Brincat-Smith said he was invited by GB head coach Marc Giles to compete in the 120+ masters-one category, his fifth appearance on the international stage.
“I was looking to place higher than the fourth I achieved in South Africa last year,” he said.
“I was seeded in sixth place going into the competition, but like any sport it comes down to consistency and who the better athlete is on the day that really counts.
“I faced tough competition under tricky circumstances, we all had a fight on our hands.”
The 43-year-old’s previous best — 217.5kg — had earned him a silver medal, but having drastically improved since the European Championships in 2018, Brincat-Smith smashed a 225.5kg lift to start his medal hunt.
“With the top nomination of 335kg we had some ground to make up, but I kept my mind on my game and left everyone else to theirs,” he said.
At the end of the first round the Newark lifters score had seen him move into third place as three of the six athletes had failed to register their bench press.
In the second round Brincat-Smith pressed 232.5kg, but he wasn’t done there.
“I finished with my third and final lift, a 240kg attempt for second place, but sadly it wasn’t to be this time,” he said.
The GB lifter was beaten only by Guenther Salbeck (237.5kg) and Jaroslav Soukal, of Czech Republic, who finished with 325kg.
“I ended up with my highest world placing to date and its certainly encouraging moving towards the rest of the years international commitments,” Brincat-Smith said.
The powerlifer has since returned to his Sutton-on-Trent-based gym to prepare for the English Bench Press Champs in June, which is followed by the European Masters Powerlifting and the European Bench Press Championships.