Athletes push to pull off some medals
Weightlifting: Top-three placing at World Police-Fire Games in Ireland
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 06:00 am
A trio of Okotoks weightlifters had a wee bit of the luck of the Irish — even if one of them did crack a rib.
Douglas Eagleton pushed through a cracked rib to win a silver medal in the 110kg division (40-49 years of age) of the push/pull competition at the World Police and Fire Games in Belfast, Northern Ireland in August.
He cracked a rib in the bench press competition — the first of the two elements — in which he finished third out of eight competitors.
He opened with a lift of 140kg (315 pounds) and then successfully made a lift of 145kg (325 pounds). However, on his next attempt, it felt like the Blarney Stone fell on his chest.
“At 345 pounds (155kg), I brought the bar down and about eight inches from my chest, my wrist snapped and I dropped the bar on my chest,” Eagleton said. “From there I was able to push the bar, but they said the lift wasn’t legal because I had lifted my buttocks off the bench.”
However, he felt good being in third place going into the deadlift that afternoon, as it is his favourite of the two elements. Of course, he never tried it with a rib that was more tender than those sold at Hirsche Fraser Meat.
The deadlift is when the competitor successfully brings considerable weight up to just above the knees. Their back is straight and their arms are fully extended.
Eagleton started with two successful lifts of 500 pounds (225kg) and would peak at 525 pounds (236kg) to give him a total of 850 pounds (395kg) in the push/pull. He tried to lift 545 pounds, but the pain started to get to him.
“I never thought about quitting because I had just so much support from my family and the community,” Eagleton said. “I went there thinking either I was going to blow myself in half or I am going to win.
“I am really happy with the silver.”
He didn’t break himself in half, but his chest was taped up for a few weeks after the event — making even a sneeze painful.
Eagleton has been a firefighter in Priddis for 21 years.
He got involved when he was with a friend who was a volunteer and his pal got a call.
“I thought this would be a great way to help the community,” Eagleton said. He enjoyed it so much he is now a full-time firefighter in Calgary as well as performing his volunteer duties in Priddis.”
A sub for soccer
A pair of Okotoks’ finest had previously gone to the Games to the play The Beautiful Game, but this time they also pulled off some weightlifting.
RCMP Cpl. Leanne Beattie won the gold medal in the 90kg-plus (40 to 49 years) in the push/pull competition, while Melanie Glanville picked up the silver in the 90kg (40-49 years).
“I ended up with a silver medal in the bench press of 55kg,” said Beattie, a member of the Okotoks detachment. “And my deadlift was 120 kg. That was good enough to give me the gold in the push/pull.”
It wasn’t Beattie’s first trip to the Games, however, in previous years she had played European-style football.
“This is my fifth games and I usually play soccer — and I did play soccer this time,” Beattie said. “But one of the girls, Melanie Glanville, wanted to go for a medal and we thought we should look at events in which we could medal.”
As a result of their training with Okotoks’ Andrew Dexter and Sharon Ward at W8 Training, they decided to try out the push/pull competition.
“When we decided to do this competition, they guided us with how the competitions work, what our goals are and they set up a programs for us,” Beattie said. “They look at things holistically. They work on balance and strength you aren’t just doing one exercise.”
The program paid dividends, Beattie cleared 55kg and just missed at 60kg.
“Sixty kilograms would have matched my personal best, but I was not disappointed,” she said. “The woman (Canada’s Beverly Zaporozan) who won gold (in the bench press) also had 55kg, but she won because she was lighter than me.”
Beattie was able to out lift Zaporozan in the deadlift when she lifted 120kg to her knees to give her a total of 175kg in the push/pull. Zaporozan deadlifted 100kg.
Glanville, an Okotoks peace officer, won the silver medal in the women’s 90kg 40-49 years division with a combined weight of 182.5.
“I was able to get the bronze in the bench press with 50kg,” Glanville said. “I am much better in the deadlift because I have a strong legs. I had a personal best of 132.5 kg. I was able to get up to second in the push/pull.”
She said her and Beattie studied past results and went to Ireland believing they could win a medal.
“We wanted to learn and have a good experience,” Glanville said. “It was absolutely amazing — a great experience.
“For the first time competing, I thought Leanne and I did very well.”
The Okotoks officers also played soccer, but their team did not win a game. All three foothills area lifters said they are considering competing in the 2015 Games in Fairfax, Virginia.