By Mark Etheridge
Ricardo Fitzpatrick, Team South Africa’s sole para-powerlifter at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, heads to Gold Coast, Australia in a strong frame of mind.
Kimberley-based Fitzpatrick, who boasts an impressive best of 182kg in competition, is seeing improvement both in weight lifted and his training intensity.
The 37-year-old told Team South Africa: ‘I’ve been way more focused than before and my training is really intense. Not only have I achieved personal bests in the weights I’ve bench-presses but my repetitions and sets in training sessions are also way improved.’
Last year was a good year for Fitzpatrick as he managed to compete in four international events. He also earned his second Commonwealth Championships title and medalled for an eighth time on the international circuit.
‘In terms of support, with Remitto coming to the rescue for me to compete at the Mexico City 2017 World Para Powerlifting World Championships, I managed to get a world ranking of 17th in the 88kg division.
‘This year my form looks much better and I’m also looking at recording a higher ranking then last year.’
A switch in training has also paid off. “I’ve gone back to assistance-training, something I neglected last year and that was part of my downfall. Now I’m doing three repetitions of 175kg in the gym.
‘This year I’m looking at bringing that intensity to Australia. Myself and coach Andre Ludik will have a week before my competition on 10 April so we ll be training much harder.
‘If all goes according to our plans I’ll achieve my best world ranking yet and will be looking at getting into the top four in the world after Commonwealth Games.’