Jordan Dayes only weighs 52 kilograms but she can lift more than double her body weight.
The Blaxland resident will test her strength against the world’s best when she competes in the Powerlifting World Championships in Johannesburg, South Africa, in June.
The 21-year-old will have three attempts at lifting maximal weight on three types of lifts: the squat, bench press and deadlift.
She’s hoping to deadlift 130kg, squat 110kg and bench press 45kg. In competition, the final position of each lift is held until the referee is satisfied the competitor is in complete control of the weight.
A Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Western Sydney, up until a year ago Dayes hadn’t any strength sport ambitions.
She had started personal training sessions with Matthew Smith at Plus Fitness, Blaxland, with the intention of getting fit and being able to do a chin-up. Unbeknown to her, Smith, a powerlifting coach, had seen her potential, and began including powerlifting exercises into her personal training program.
“I was a bit shocked [when Smith told her his plans]. I was not keen on the idea and was too scared to get up in a crowd of people and do that,” Dayes said.
At that point she could squat 70kg, bench press 30kg and deadlift 70kg.
“I couldn’t imagine doing more than that; I couldn’t picture it. It seemed impossible,” Dayes said.
But her coach knew better.
“He wasn’t expecting it to be that high so soon without training,” Dayes said.
So she decided to continue with Smith’s training, and in her first competition about a month ago - the Southwest Strength Challenge in Narellan - an ecstatic Dayes placed first in her weight class and qualified for the National Powerlifting Meet in Melbourne later this year. She was then nominated for a position on the Australian team to compete in South Africa.
Dayes competes in the 47-52kg weight division in the junior section (18-23 years). As she sits borderline on the weight bracket, she has a strict diet, and watches her water intake down to a millilitre on competition day.
Dayes trains six days a week for 90-minute sessions. Training will be all the more difficult over the next few months with her coach overseas on a pre-planned trip, but Dayes is no less determined to give it her all.
Finding $10,000 to get her and her coach to South Africa has proved a challenge. Dayes has attained some business sponsorship and further sponsorship would be welcomed by contacting her on 0401 760 774.