Home competition discipline Funding woes derail Ricardo’s world championship hopes

Funding woes derail Ricardo’s world championship hopes

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Ricardo Fitzpatrick has been forced to withdraw from the South African Bench Press Team set to compete in the World Bench Press Championships in May.

Ricardo Fitzpatrick, the reigning African Bench Press Champion and current South African Champion, has regrettably withdrawn from the South African Bench Press Team set to compete in the World Bench Press Championships in Austin, USA, slated for May 21–22, 2024. Picture: Supplied

RICARDO Fitzpatrick, the reigning African Bench Press Champion and current South African Champion, has been forced to withdraw from the South African Bench Press Team set to compete in the World Bench Press Championships in Austin, USA, slated for May 21-22, 2024.

What is the reason behind this disappointing setback for the city’s own champion? Lack of funds.

Fitzpatrick, a formidable force in the bench press arena, missed the registration deadline due to financial constraints, shattering his aspirations of competing on the global stage. Projections suggested that Fitzpatrick could have clinched silver or bronze at the championship, based on nominations positioning him second or third.

ALSO READ: Fitzpatrick pushes past struggles to yet another title

Nevertheless, undeterred by this setback, the determined athlete has shifted his focus to the upcoming trio of international competitions on home turf. These include the Asian, African, and Pacific Bench Press Championships in Potchefstroom, followed by the Commonwealth Bench Press Championships in Sun City, and culminating with the African Bench Press Championships again in Potchefstroom, spanning from October to November 2024.

Fitzpatrick is eyeing a successful defence of his African Bench Press title and aims to secure his third Commonwealth Bench Press title.

However, to realise these ambitions, he faces a financial hurdle of R32,000. The champion athlete finds himself again having to reach out to businesses and individuals willing to lend a helping hand in sponsoring his participation in these critical competitions.

In preparation for the upcoming challenges, Fitzpatrick has been diligently hitting the weights in his local gym, pushing his limits with each rep.

As the reigning African and SA champion adds kilogrammes to his bar, he’s striving to elevate his performance, knowing that securing a sponsor would not only benefit him but also the supporting entity, given his track record of success and the potential for title defences on the horizon.

As he gears up to defend his titles and make his mark in upcoming competitions, the story of Fitzpatrick’s resilience serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes everywhere, reminding us that with passion and perseverance, anything is possible.

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