Weightlifter claims bronze on world stage
Published 11:00am 31 October 2022
Clontarf’s Martin Smith has brought home a swag of bronze medals from the International Powerlifting Federation’s World Masters Powerlifting Championships in Canada.
Competing in the M1 Under 59kg class, Martin says he was up against some tough competition against lifters from Canada and Japan.
His efforts in the Squat (80kg), Bench Press (60kg) and Deadlift (100kg) earnt him a bronze medal in each class, as well as a bronze overall.
“I didn’t realise I’d got the bronze – my personal trainer Colin had asked my Mum if he should tell me and she said not to,” Martin says.
“I only found out when I heard my name being called out.”
World champion makes the switch
A former world champion gymnast, 41-year-old Martin only took up weightlifting about two-and-a-half years ago.
“I’m a big fan of Dwayne Johnson – he’s my idol,” Martin, who lives with Down Syndrome, says.
“I lost my Dad and I needed a male in my life and hanging out with the bigger guys – everyone’s made me feel welcome.”
Down Syndrome Queensland Community Engagement and Fundraising Manager Michael Harrison says what makes the Special Olympics veteran’s achievement even more special is that the championships are a mainstream competition, where Martin is treated the same as every other competitor.
Martin trains six days a week, as well as working with Panthers Powerlifting coach Colin Webb.
“I also work at Urban Xtreme two days a week,” he says.
Next month Martin heads to New Zealand to compete, with a trip to Italy for more competitions planned for next year.
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