Newly crowned Scotland’s Strongest Woman champion Steph Dekker amazed onlookers by lifting weights totalling 250kg – almost four times her own body weight of 63kg, writes Craig Goldthorp.
Home competitor Steph (29) destroyed the opposition in the under-63kg class at Motherwell gym Hostile Strength and Conditioning, as a record number of 20 females competed across three weight categories in this prestigious national competition.
Among her many highlights, the one that really amazed spectators was the sight of her lifting 250kg in the max effort yoke event, which put simply sees athletes carrying a mountainous set of weights attached to what looks like a set of football goalposts.
“What Steph did was world class, world standard,” Hostile Gym boss Martin Lennox told the Times and Speaker.
“The events she won, she won by a country mile.
“This girl has won a national title with standards which would have been good enough to succeed at world level.”
Steph – who hails from Cumbernauld – began her Scotland’s Strongest Woman campaign by winning the monster dumbbell event in which participants had to lift the weights over their heads as many times as possible within a minute.
Then came her astonishing class win in the max effort yoke, before Steph also finished first in dead lift repetitions, where she had to do as many dead lifts as possible in under 20 seconds.
Further glory followed for Steph in the atlas stones category, which saw her lift four stones – weighing 60kg, 70kg, 80kg and 90kg respectively – one at a time and putting them onto a platform.
Steph’s efforts in winning four out of the six under-63kg events with national records sees her qualify for the British Championships at the Bloodstock Festival in Derbyshire this August.
“We have high hopes Steph will do well,” Martin added.
Another impressive performance there will hopefully earn her an invite to the World Championships.
Another local member making waves in the 63kg class was Elsa Bissett, whose dedication to weightlifting is such that she recently moved house from Edinburgh to Motherwell to be near Hostile Gym.
Elsa – who was making a step up after winning a Novice class at Hostile in November – finished third in the under-63kg class at Scotland’s Strongest Woman which Martin rated as “a fantastic achievement”.
Further Hostile podium joy was provided by Mary Anderson, who finished second in the under-82kg class.
Mary, of Tranent, also sealed British qualification during a fine sequence which included her winning the final event by one point from Ayrshire’s Emma Jane Smith.
Finally, the open weight category saw a double triumph for Hostile members.
Lisa Gippert won all the events to win by nine-and-a-half points overall, while Kim Best demonstrated how much she has improved over the past year by finishing as runner-up.
This year’s Scotland’s Strongest Woman event – sponsored by Strength Shop, Motherwell – marks the fourth time the competition has been staged in Motherwell in its 12-year history.
Martin is delighted that a record number of entrants took part this year and he has vowed that the showpiece will remain at his gym “as long as I draw breath”.