Last weekend saw Scottish 74kg equipped powerlifters, William Murray and Bernie McGurk, going forth boldly to represent the Great Britain at the Western European Powerlifting Championships in La Manga, Spain. The venue was chosen as a top of the range facility used by professional sports people throughout the year and it did not disappoint.
Bernie suffered the sudden loss of his daughter Hayley just a few weeks ago but chose to dedicate this competition to the memory of his daughter. It has helped him raise over £3,000 so far for Epilepsy Scotland as well as raising awareness of the illness within Scottish Powerlifting and further afield. If anyone would like to make a donation to Bernie’s fundraising page you can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/Bernie-McGurk
First up was Scottish Powerlifting Chairman, William Murray. Unfortunately, in the heat of the day, he missed all three squats and dropped out of the competition. He failed the first and third on depth and the second a result of losing his line on the way back up. As disappointed as he was, he continued on to lift in the bench and deadlift. As a result of the heat within the venue, Coach Joe Bullock lowered William’s bench opener from 150kg to a safe 145kg, first lift went up great and he went on to lift a comfortable 155kg and then an international PB of 160kg on his third lift.
William admits his deadlifting has not been going particularly well recently so opened with a 205kg deadlift before going on to lift a 215kg and a 220kg deadlift. Getting 6 out of 6 after bombing on squats was important for confidence and although it was very disappointing, it happens to even the world’s best powerlifters at some point.
Second up was Bernie McGurk. Much like William, Bernie had a tough time with the heat in the venue and struggled with his first squat. However, he did manage to get in a 230kg on his second attempt to stay in the competition before missing a 235kg lift on his third. Unfortunately, despite also dropping his opener to 145kg, the heat played a part as Bernie missed out on all three attempts on bench press to also drop out of the competition.
Moving on to deadlift Bernie opened with a comfortable 245kg before going on to lift 255kg deadlift on his second attempt. Looking to finish on a positive note Bernie then posted up a 267.5kg attempt for his third lift to finish with the strongest deadlift in the 74kg class. Unfortunately, it was too big a jump on the day and he finished on his second attempt of 255kg.
Although both lifters had a disappointing day on the platform it was a very valuable learning experience and a great event to be a part of.