Zara Nybo completes a deadlift at the Van Isle Throwdown in Victoria.

Comox powerlifter qualifies for world championships

A Comox teen who recently broke three national age-group powerlifting records has qualified for the IPL world championships, Oct. 25 in Limerick, Ireland.

Zara Nybo bench pressed 67.5kgs (148.5 pounds) and deadlifted 332.5 pounds at the Van Isle Throwdown, June 16 in Victoria. The 17-year-old also set a Canadian record in the overall total category. She competed in the 16-17 junior women’s 82.5kg weight class.

“In worlds I’ll be competing in the 15-19 junior division. It’s a broader spectrum of juniors.”

Nybo, who hails from California, trains at Wild + United Athletics in Courtenay. She corresponds online with her coach, Avi Silverberg, who lives in Alberta. She also has a nutrition coach.

In 2015, she started out in CrossFit, which piqued her interest in Olympic weightlifting, which consists of snatch, and clean and jerk. She later switched to powerlifting.

“I loved it (weightlifting), and then I took some time off. I came back and started doing deadlifts and back squats, some of the not-so-technical lifts, and I fell in love with it. I started training for my first powerlifting meet, and after I was so hooked. It was a natural transition. I love the energy that the powerlifting competitions have.”

Nybo said that being strong, and being a female in weightlifting sports, is both fun and empowering.

“It’s still more of a male-dominated sport, and that’s starting to change as more women realize that it’s OK to lift weights, it’s OK to be really strong, and have a fierce outlook on life. It’s really changing.”

Her goal at worlds is to do her best, which means putting maximum effort into each lift. The competition consists of three lifts in back squat, bench press and deadlift.

“Each time you’re trying to go for more weight,” Nybo said.

“I want to do the best that I possibly can at worlds, and that means having 100 per cent focus on the goal, every day.”

Her long-term goals?

“Hopefully more records, lots of exciting competitions. As long as I can keep doing my best, then it’ll keep playing out how it’s meant to.”

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