Plant power, monster lifts, medals and records at the Powerlifting World championships

Vegan women have been busy at the World Championships, recording massive lifts amongst the world's best.

24 June 2023

IPF World Women’s Classic Open Powerlifting Championships in Malta saw multiple Belgian Champion Sahyuri Lalime (pictured, right) compete with her usual enthusiasm. She also said she was excited, nervous and determined.

Sahyuri competed in the 63 kg category (open age) against the world’s best.  She squatted 180kg, (over 2.8 times bodyweight) a personal best by 5kg.  Next was an 87.5 kg benchpress.  She then deadlifted 195 kg, almost getting 200 kg before her grip let her down.  Sahyuri placed 7th among the elite lifters and her total of 462.5 kg was a 40kg improvement on last year’s world championships.

“This is my best international performance to-date” she says.  “I went into this with the goal of achieving the best placement possible and managed to move up a spot from my nominated 8th position – no small feat in a class complete with four former World champs. I leave Malta more confident than ever in my abilities and ready to get back to work.”

Sophia at 76 kg

Meanwhile British Champion Sophia Ellis was competing at 76 kg where she faced 24 elite lifters.  Sophia has British and European records.  She squatted 175 kg and her 120 kg bench earned her bronze in that lift.  Her deadlift of 245 kg gave her deadlift gold.  It also broke the British and European deadlift records.  Sophie also broke the record for the British total, and placed her 4th.

“[It was] an absolute honour to represent Great Britain for the third time at the World Championships” she says.  “Over the moon with my performance. It was a stacked class of veryyy strong women, some who I have looked up to since I first started lifting. To get a gold medal on the world stage was so surreal but something I have put so much work into achieving. Knowing there is more there on each lift too is very exciting.

Vegan power!

Sahy has been vegan since 2015 after 12 years vegetarian.

“My motivation to go vegetarian was based purely on not wanting to kill animals” she says.  She later realised it made sense to go vegan too, and has been glad she did. 

Sophia went vegan in 2011.

“To start with, it was due to health reasons; I’m lactose intolerant and wanted to start reducing my meat consumption. But the more I looked into veganism, the more my eyes opened to the ethical and environmental side of this lifestyle – which completely sold it to me.”