Katia Mackenzie, from Wairarapa College, has qualified for the 2018 IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships in Canada. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

ELISA VORSTER

elisa.vorster@age.co.nz

After powerlifting for little more than a year, Wairarapa College student Katia Mackenzie is already breaking records and has been selected to represent New Zealand at the world championships.

The 17-year-old will be head to Alberta, Canada, in June to compete in the 72kg class, sub junior under 18 category at the 2018 IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships, qualifying with a total of 350kg across her three lifts.

“This was my goal from when I started,” she said.

Her father and WaiWeight gym owner Bevan Mackenzie was “very proud” of his daughter’s achievements in such a short space of time.

“She will be the fifth person from this gym to go to the world champs,” he said.

When she first began training, Katia could already deadlift 130kg — lifting the bar to waist height, without bending the arms —  although she had “no idea” she would be able to lift so much.

Katia Mackenzie preparing for a deadlift. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

“When I got into it I was quite surprised.”

She said the training could be pretty tough, but she does it almost every day.

“My dad’s out there every morning, he always pushing me to do more.

“It’s good though, sometimes I need a push.”

Her qualifying lifts were a 140kg back squat (squatting with barbell across the back of the shoulders), a 65kg bench press, and 155kg deadlift, although Katia said she had since lifted heavier at the gym and was hoping for bigger lifts in her upcoming competitions.

Her current focus is working towards the Central Districts championships in April, which will help her prepare for the world champs.

“It will be good to get an idea of what numbers I can do now and see how much I’ve improved, because it’s been a while since I last did a competition.”

Until now, her coaching has mainly come from her dad, but she’s excited to now receive additional coaching from world champion powerlifter, Brett Gibbs, who also used to train at WaiWeight.

“It’s her last year in the sub junior U18 class and she has already broken all the records in her class last year,” Mr Mackenzie said.

“Brett holds the World Record for bench press at the moment and I need someone [to coach Katia] who is a bit more of a specialist than me at this stage.”

Katia hoped her success in the sport would help shed some of the stigmas associated with female powerlifters and encourage more people to get involved.

“People think girls are going to get really bulky but you don’t.

“I kind of just want to influence girls especially to join the sport.”