The Jamaica National Powerlifting Association of Jamaica (NPAJ) is buzzing with anticipation as the highly anticipated Grace Kennedy Money Services National Powerlifting Series Bench Press 2023 approaches.

The event, scheduled to take place on July 15th, 2023, at the Fit Farm Venue, promises to showcase the incredible strength and determination of the nation's powerlifters. With an impressive increase in the number of athletes participating this year, the stage is set for an unforgettable display of raw power.

The NPAJ proudly announces that a record-breaking 48 athletes have registered for the competition, representing a remarkable 52% increase compared to the previous year. This surge in participation reflects the growing popularity and recognition of powerlifting in Jamaica, as more individuals embrace the sport and test their limits.

Among the participants, 14 powerful females will be vying for glory, marking a significant 57% increase compared to the previous year. The rise in female athletes is a testament to the inclusive and empowering nature of powerlifting, as more women break barriers and prove their mettle on the platform.

In the highly competitive 63kg weight class, one female athlete stands out. Simona Mahfouz, the winner of the Squat Only 2023 event earlier this year, is determined to make her mark in the Bench Press category. While no Bench Press record has been established yet, all eyes will be on Simona as she pushes herself to new heights.

In the 69kg weight class, three formidable females are set to battle it out. Shaniqueka Allman, the class's defending champion and record holder, has proven her dominance in the Bench Press category. However, she finished third in the recent Squat Only 69kg event, which has only fueled her determination to reclaim her spot at the top. Shrona Scott, a previous runner-up in the 76kg Bench Press, in 2022 has decided to move down to the 69kg class. With a win in the 69kg SquatOnly 2023 event, she aims to make her presence felt. Cheyenne Campbell joins them, making her debut in the Bench Press after an impressive performance in the Squat Only event. The current class record  in the 69kg weight class stands at 56.7kg/ 125 lbs. with a 46.49 GLP, held by Shaniqueka Allman.

In the 76kg weight class, two rising stars are ready to showcase their strength. Chevaneese Powell emerged victorious in the Squat Only 2023 event, and she is eager to make her mark in the Bench Press category. Kishon Green, the runner-up in the Squat Only 2023 event, is determined to prove her prowess on the bench press. Both athletes will be looking to challenge the class record held by Fiona Binns since 2022, who has moved up to the 84kg weight class for the 2023 season. The current class record in the 76kg weight class stands at 49.97kg/ 110 lbs. with a 38.34 GLP, held by Fiona Binns.

The 84kg weight class promises to be fiercely contested, with five talented females ready to give it their all. Ayana Duhaney, the defending champion, and record holder for the class, is keen on retaining her title and breaking her record in the process. Monique Smith, making her NPAJ debut, will be looking to make a strong first impression. Tzari Saunders, returning after a year's absence, aims to reclaim her spot among the elite. Fiona Binns, the record holder for the 76kg Bench Press in 2022, has chosen to challenge herself in the 84kg class this year. Tesi Scott, who faced disqualification in her Bench Press debut last year, is determined to make amends after finishing second in the Squat Only 2023 event. The current class record in the 84kg weight class stands at 70.37kg/ 155 lbs. with a 53.84 GLP, held by Ayana Duhaney.

In the 84+kg weight class, three powerhouses are ready to showcase their strength. Aiesha Denton, the reigning champion, and record holder, is looking to defend her title and set a new benchmark for the class. Kayla Edwards will be making her NPAJ Series debut, hoping to make an impression. Tashian Wallace, finishing second in the Squat Only 2023 event, is eager to prove herself on the bench. The current class record in the 84+kg weight class stands at 70.37kg/ 155 lbs. with a 50.56 GLP, held by Aiesha Denton.

Compared to last year, the NPAJ has witnessed a remarkable 50% surge, with a total of 34 male powerlifters ready to demonstrate their prowess on the bench press platform.

In the fiercely contested 74kg weight class, six exceptional individuals will be vying for the top spot. Krishna Harris, the reigning champion in the Squat Only 2023, will make his bench press debut as he aims to solidify his dominance in this weight class. Joshua Ivey, who secured secondplace in the Squat Only 2023, will also be making his highly anticipated bench press debut. Jaheem Forrester, seeking redemption after a disqualification in the bench press last year, is determined to rewrite his story. Shaun Jennings, Brent Lee, and Joseph Walsh, all making their NPAJ debuts, will add excitement and competition to the mix. The 74kg weight class is wide open, as no records have been established in this category yet.

The 83kg weight class boasts an equally competitive field of six talented athletes. Damar Grant, the defending champion and record holder in the 83kg class bench press in 2022, comes into the competition with confidence after his recent triumph in the Squat Only 2023. Alexander Carrington, who claimed the second spot in the Squat Only  2023, will be looking for a different result this time as he makes his bench press debut. Hakeem Weir, J√©von Mitchell, Gary Adamson, and Kevin Taylor will also be competing, each bringing their unique strengths and aspirations to the stage. The current class record in the 83kg weight class stands at 124.77kg/275 lbs. with a 63.17 GLP, held by Damar Grant.

The 93kg weight class promises an electrifying showdown, with nine male powerlifters vying for the championship title. Ricardo Williams, who finished third in the Bench Press Only last year, will be looking to improve his standing. Xavier McCarty, Bruce Wilson, Rushane Johnson, David Answer, Scott Williams, Mervin Barrett, Roxroy Campbell, and Nathan Dawkins, all making their bench press debuts, are determined to make their presence felt and claim the coveted title. The current class record in the 93kg weight class is held by Jevon DaCosta with 195kg/430 lbs. and a 92.78 GLP.

The 105kg weight class features five powerlifters ready to leave their mark on the competition. Jevauny Simpson, Jonhoi Vaughn, Tavio Fairweather, Tajeel Thomas, and Staffon Commock will battle it out for supremacy. While Jonhoi Vaughn holds the title of the 105kg class Squat Only 2023 champion, the bench press competition remains open, with no records established yet.

In the 120kg weight class, the reigning champion and record holder Johnwayne Goulbourne returns to defend his title. Gregory Brown, who secured second place last year,  and Darren Thomas, who won the Squat Only 2023, will also be contending for the championship. This weight class promises a fierce display of strength and determination.

Lastly, the 120+kg weight class will see five impressive athletes vying for the top spot. Karim Bryan, second-place finisher in the Bench Press in 2022, aims to start the season strong. Sashane Tomlinson, Bruce Higgins, Clifton Lee, and Algreg Sappleton, all bringing their ownunique abilities, will compete fiercely for the title. The current class record in the 120+kg weight class stands at 192.77kg/425 lbs. with a 79.73 GLP, held by Shaun Simpson.

The Grace Kennedy Money Services National Powerlifting Series Bench Press 2023 promises to be an enthralling event, showcasing the incredible strength, dedication, and resilience of Jamaica's powerlifters. Fans and powerlifting enthusiasts are invited to join the NPAJ on July 15th, 2023, at the Fit Farm Venue, starting at 10 am, to witness history in the making. For more information and updates, please visit the official NPAJ website and follow their social media channels on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

From the Powerlifting Voice