Home competition discipline Fitzpatrick pushes past struggles to yet another title

Fitzpatrick pushes past struggles to yet another title

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‘I remember warming up; I noticed my elbow wasn’t straightening out, and this would give me problems in the competition.’

Ricardo Fitzpatrick, a well-known figure in Kimberley and celebrated as the city’s Strongest Middleweight Bench Press Champion, once again demonstrated his resilience and skill at the South African Bench Press Championships in Gqeberha. Picture: Supplied

Ricardo Fitzpatrick, a well-known figure in Kimberley and celebrated as the city’s Strongest Middleweight Bench Press Champion, once again demonstrated his resilience and skill at the South African Bench Press Championships in Gqeberha.

Despite grappling with significant challenges due to an issue with his elbow, Fitzpatrick triumphed in the -83 kg master 1 division, securing his fifth South African Bench Press title.

In an interview following the event, Fitzpatrick told the DFA of the unexpected hurdles he faced during the competition. “I remember warming up; I noticed my elbow wasn’t straightening out, and this would give me problems in the competition.

“So, I had to make my starter weight much lighter to be on the safe side,” he disclosed.

His concerns proved valid, as his first two attempts didn’t go as planned. “On my first attempt, my elbow was a problem, and I failed on that. On the second attempt, because I was so stressed, I managed to work around the elbow, but I failed on the no-pause rule from the chest,” Fitzpatrick elaborated.

However, the powerlifter’s determination and adaptability shone through as he succeeded in his third and final attempt, lifting 140kg.

“The result was about my qualifying standard for the four international competitions,” he explained to the DFA.

Amazingly, despite the challenges, Fitzpatrick successfully defended his title and secured his place in the South African Bench Press Team for the upcoming 2024 World Bench Press Championships in Austin, USA, as well as the Asia-Pacific and African Bench Press Championship in Potchefstroom, and the Commonwealth and African Bench Press Championship in Sun City.

Looking ahead, Fitzpatrick told the DFA that he is focused on further achievements.

“Now I focus on defending my African Bench Press title and winning my third Commonwealth Bench Press Championship later in Sun City,” he stated ambitiously.

However, uncertainties loom over his participation in the World Bench Press Championships in the USA, due to the significant costs involved.

“I don’t know if I will attend the World Bench Press Championships; the costs for the competition are around R55,000,” Fitzpatrick shared.

The problem is that with the South African Powerlifting Federation not providing funding for teams, Fitzpatrick is actively seeking sponsorship to facilitate his participation in these prestigious competitions.

“I am looking at winning two more international titles, pushing my tally to nine international titles for the SA Bench Press Team,” he remarked, highlighting his determination to continue elevating South Africa’s presence in the global bench press arena.

Following recent successes and as Fitzpatrick embarks on his journey towards further glory, his unwavering dedication and resilience continue to be an inspiration to aspiring athletes not only here in Kimberley but across the nation.

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