A group of athletes from Bendigo will travel to Spain to compete on the international stage against the world’s best kettlebell lifters.
Among the central Victorians is Year 9 East Loddon P-12 College student Georgia Welsh, who holds the current junior two-hour world kettlebell record.
Welsh has competed at the International Kettlebell Marathon Federation World Championships before, and looks to improve her performance when she competes at Antequera next week.
“I’m always eager to compete against people from around the world to see where I sit on the rankings,” Welsh said.
Welsh will be competing in the 16kg 30 minute-long cycle event and the 12kg 60 minute-long cycle.
The IKMF World Championships involves competitors participating in marathon events where they perform traditional kettlebell lifts: jerk, long cycle, snatch and half snatch for either 30 or 60 minutes.
If the competitor puts the kettlebell down at any stage during the set, they will be disqualified.
Welsh trains multiple times per week at Rock Hard Training and Kettlebells in Bendigo under the guidance of coach Don Grant.
“Georgia is progressing really well as a lifter and is a current junior world champion,” Grant said.
Welsh first started competing after being introduced to the sport by Hayley Lethlean, a teacher at East Loddon P-12 College.
In her short career as a competitor Welsh has competed at multiple world championships and is currently a junior world record holder.
“The athletes need to take it up a couple notches to compete competitively at the World Championships,” Grant said.
“They need to be fit, have power and strength to compete against the best.”
Kettlebell lifting was once considered an “unknown” sport. However, over the last five years Grant believes it has gained more international attention.
Grant will be taking a contingent of Bendigo athletes to Spain including, Maxine Smith, Jenny Fletcher, Danielle Stevenson and Jess Crozier who will be competing in different categories.
Also among the group is Melanie Harris, who has gone down in the world record history books with 240 reps of a single 24kg bell, using the one-arm long technique for 30 minutes.
Around 300 lifters from 23 countries will compete at the world championships from November 23-25 in a sport which has traditionally been dominated by Russia and eastern European countries.
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