The 2017 IPF World Open Championships took place between the 13th and 18th of this month in Pilsen, Czechia, with some shocking and exciting results. Here are 9for9 Media’s picks for the top 10 moments of the championships.

#10. Oleksiy Bychkov’s comeback

Oleksiy Bychkov was nominated first coming into this competition with his immense world record total of 1125kg from the 2016 World’s, but had also just come off a poor performance at the 2017 World Games, where he bombed out missing all three of his squat attempts. The pressure was on to redeem himself and win the world title once again. When his main competitor, Oleksiy Rokochiy bombed out on bench, Bychkov was able to surge ahead and take the win. With his 425kg squat, 337.5kg bench, and 365kg second attempt deadlift, Oleksiy came out on his third attempt to pull 367.5kg, but then to everyone’s surprise, gave the loaded up bar a couple of friendly pats, gave the crowd a wave, and walked off the platform. With this comical finish, the Ukrainian lifter was also able to extend his existing world record total up to 1127.5kg.

#9. Dmytro Semenenko vs Oleksandr Rubets squat battle

Dmytro Semenenko and Oleksandr Rubets have been tossing back and forth the 105kg world record squat record holder spot the last few years, with Dmytro holding it prior to this World’s with 432kg. At this competition, Dmytro had the heavier opener, 420kg compared to Oleksandr’s 410kg. But on the second attempts, Oleksandr chipped Dmytro’s world record by squatting 433kg with room to spare. Meanwhile, Dmytro moved up to 440.5kg to obliterate the world record and leave Oleksandr in the dust. However at the bottom position, his squat suit blew out and he lost positioning, immediately dumping the bar straight over his head and onto the floor. Oleksandr had put in 441kg to beat Dmytro’s missed world record attempt, so came out on his third to have a crack at it, but the weight was just too heavy for him and he failed at the sticking point. Fortunately, Dmytro was unhurt from his dramatic second attempt failure, and came out on his third attempt, jumping another 5kg to 445.5kg to get the record back. With a monumental effort, Dmytro managed to make the lift, but was given two reds for depth. However, this was soon overturned by the jury and he was given the lift! Dmytro went on to win the 105kg class with his 302.5kg bench and 342.5kg deadlift for a new world record total of 1090.5kg.

#8. Bonica Lough squats a new 84kg+ world record

Coming off an awesome performance at the 2017 USAPL Raw Nationals where she unofficially extended her squat, bench and total world records up to 273kg, 151.5kg, and 652kg respectively, Bonica had another fantastic day at the Open World’s. After opening with 297.5kg, the American lifter went on to squat a massive 312.5kg, beating her previous world record by 2kg. She went on to skip her third attempt, bench 210kg, and deadlift 227.5kg to total 750kg to win the 84kg+ division for the second year running.

#7. Jaroslaw Olech sets world records to win the 74kg title

Polish lifter Jaroslaw Olech is a Powerlifting legend. Holding open world records in the squat and total coming into this competition, and winning the 74kg class for the last 11 years straight, it was no surprise the Masters 1 lifter did it again. After squatting 360kg (missing out on a new world record of 368kg on his third) and benching 220kg, Kazakhstani lifter Andrey Prokopenko wasn’t far behind. However, after deadlifting 310kg on his second attempt and securing his gold medal position, he went all out and pulled 328kg, to post an open world record deadlift for the first time since 2011. With this deadlift, he also totaled a new world record of 908kg, beating his own record from 2013 of 905kg. It’s simply incredible to see this Polish lifter reaching new heights in his performance from even half a decade ago.

#6. Larysa Soloviova wins best overall woman

Larysa Soloviova has dominated the 63kg weight class since 2011, not having conceived a single defeat since, and holding all four world records. She’s consistently placed around the top three of the overall women by Wilks score each year, finally having won it last year. At the 2017 World’s, something seemed up with Larysa’s lifting through the squat, and it became obvious by the deadlifts she was badly hurt somehow. After finishing squats with 232.5kg and benching 170kg on her second, her deadlift opener of 190kg moved fine, but afterwards she had great difficulty standing up properly, taking a good thirty seconds or so to leave the platform. Her second attempt of 205kg had the same story, moving well but with her struggling to stand up and walk off. After her failed third attempt of 222.5kg, it was clear she was in serious pain, as she rejected the help of the spotters around her to stand up on her own accord and limp off the platform. Despite all this, her 607.5kg total was even enough for her to win the est overall women’s title for the second year in a row with her 654.16 Wilks, beating 47kg lifters Yukako Fukushima and Widari Widari in second and third.

#5. Natalie Hanson vs Yevheniia Tishakova squat world record battle

Another epic squat world record battle went down in the 84kg class between American lifter Natalie Hanson and Ukrainian lifter Yevheniia Tishakova. Having only competed at the open World’s once, Natalie recently squatted an unofficial world record of 270kg at the 2017 USAPL Equipped Nationals. Meanwhile Yevheniia has always been squatted a bit below the record, and even had two failed attempts of 270kg at the 2017 World Games. After the two ladies’ openers, Natalie came out on her second to chip the existing world record by .5kg with 268.5kg, which moved well. Yevheniia then went for 269kg, which moved very slowly, and was called for depth and downward movement of the bar. On the third attempts, Yevheniia came out first, having jumped up a kilo to 270kg, which she surprisingly made easily despite missing her second, giving her the world record spot. The battle wasn’t over there however, as Natalie then came out and smoked a massive 273.5kg squat, easily giving her the world record once and for all. Natalie went on to bench 185kg, missing a world record attempt of 191.5kg, and deadlifted 212.5kg to win her first open world championship title in the 84kg class, beating Yevheniia’s total by 28.5kg.

#4. David Lupac appears from nowhere and wins the super-heavyweights

Arguably the most surprising outcome of the entire world championships was Czech lifter David Lupac winning the super-heavyweight division. Having placed third last year, David was nominated fourth this year, with Joseph Cappellino (USA), Volodymyr Svistunov (UKR) and Andrey Konovalov (RUS) all nominated in front of him. After the squats, Joseph and Volodymr were ahead of David, but Andrey Konovalov bombed out, missing his first two attempts at 470kg for depth, and then stumbling forward at the top of the third attempt. On the bench, the number two nomination after Konovalov, Joseph Cappellino bombed out, missing 340kg at the lockout three times in a row. This made the 120kg+ class a two-horse race between David and Volodymyr Svistunov. Volodymyr extended his lead slightly on the bench, but being the bigger deadlifter and the lighter lifter, David managed to win in the end. After Volodymyr pulled 335kg on his second attempt, David matched his total with a 352.5kg pull. Volodymyr then pulled 345kg, so David moved up to a massive 362.5kg and pulled it to total 1127.5kg and win his first world title.

#3. Priscilla Ribic wins the 72’s and sets world records

Despite a sub-par performance at the 2017 USAPL Raw Nationals, Priscilla’s equipped performances have just kept getting better, most recently totaling 635kg at the 2017 World Games and then 643kg at the 2017 World Masters, even beating Ana Castellain’s world record total. At this year’s World Open Championships, Priscilla properly established herself as the best 72kg lifter in the world. Despite only hitting her opening squat of 240kg, Priscilla went on to set a new Masters 1 world record bench of 165kg, deadlift a new open world record of 249kg, and extend her open world record total by 11kg up to 654kg. This of course gave her yet another 72kg world title and a huge 639.8 Wilks.

#2. Volodymyr Svistunov saves himself bombing out

Though we already mentioned Volodymyr Svistunov’s performance in the 120kg+ class, the epic moment where he saved himself from bombing out has to be highlighted. After opening with 430kg and absolutely smoking it, he was called on depth, so decided to retake it on his second. Although it appeared his second was a bit deeper, he lost balance on the way up and stumbled forward, missing it for a second time. On the third attempt, he added an extra 2.5kg to the bar for 432.5kg, and finally made the lift. Although this was still 20kg off his best squat, it was enough to earn him second place next to David Lupac with his 350kg bench and 345kg deadlift.

#1. Widari Widari wins the 47kg class in her first world championships

This year’s World Open Championships saw the world stage debut of Widari Widari, and incredible Indonesian lifter who shocked the international Powerlifting scene at the 2017 Asian Powerlifting Championships earlier this year, benching 140kg to beat Yukako Fukushima’s previous world record by 8kg. She also squatted 180kg and deadlifted 170kg to total 490kg – only 10kg below the world record, and only 6kg below Yukako Fukushima’s nominated total, which would make for a very exciting and close battle. On the squats, Widari had a sub-par performance (compared to the Asian Championships) only managing her 160kg opener, whereas veteran Yukako hit 177.5kg on the third. Yukako benched 132.5kg on her second attempt, whereas Widari hit 135kg, missing an attempt at 141kg for a new world record on her third. Finally on the deadlift, Yukako maintained her lead up until the third attempts, pulling 162.5kg to total 472.5kg. As the heavier lifter, this meant Widari had to pull 180kg on her third attempt to beat Yukako’s total. Staying calm and collected, Widari managed to hit the 10kg PB lift and secure the open world title for the first time.

About the author: Ramsay Kirkhy

Ramsay holds a BSc in Psychology and is currently studying for his MSc. He is also a certified Personal Trainer with three years’ experience. Along with his studies, he has a huge passion for Powerlifting, competing in the 74kg division in Great Britain, also writing for the 9for9 Media blog.