Alstonville girl, Nerrisa Gray, 16, who has just broken a powerlifting age world record after only two months in the sport.
Alstonville girl, Nerrisa Gray, 16, who has just broken a powerlifting age world record after only two months in the sport. Brenden Allen

Schoolgirl Nerrisa is no dead weight

ALSTONVILLE schoolgirl Nerrisa Gray has broken a powerlifting age world record just two-and-a-half months after taking up the sport.

The 16-year-old, who tips the scales at 60kg, lifted 41kg at the National Bench Press championships to break the previous mark of 40kg set in 1999.

For the bench press, which is one of three disciplines in the sport of powerlifting, Nerrisa had to lie on a platform with knees bent, feet on the floor, and push a bar carrying more than two-thirds of her body weight directly up from her chest.

“You take the weight and bring it to your chest,” she said.

“You hold it there for a few seconds and then the referee says 'push' and you push.

“You have to be able to fully extend your arms and lock your elbows before it counts and they then put the bar back on the racks.”

“At the gym before I've lifted 42.5kg,” Nerrisa said.

“I'm still pretty happy, but I was just a bit bummed that I didn't beat it by more.”

Coach Ron Birch, a holder of five age world records, said Nerrisa had shown great potential in training at Ron's Power Gym at Lennox Head.

“Because of the age of the girls and their bodyweights, the weights they are lifting don't seem real high, but you've still got to have the ability to lift them,” he said.

“She's a pretty talented girl. What she's done is quite good for someone with a short amount of training.

“A lot of girls can't do that weight even with a lot of training. It's not just lying down flat on a bench; it's actually a whole-of-body lift.

“You have to use your legs and upper back and lower back, and have to get your arm position right. It's fairly technical to do heavy weights.”

In the other powerlifting disciplines, Nerrisa can dead lift (off the ground) 87.5kg and squat lift 70kg.

“When you tell people they don't believe it because I'm a girl and I think it's a shock,” she said.

Mr Birch said his newest student had the potential to break world records for the dead lift (92kg) and the squat (77kg).

“She could probably do the squat record right now, but she'll have to work a bit more to get the dead lift,” he said.

“We have national age group championship in Ballina in November, so she should be ready."



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