The US National Team’s Performances at IPF Open Worlds in Dubai, UAE.

The 49th International Powerlifting Federation Open World Championships in Dubai, UAE ended last week with a bang. After the dust settled, USA Powerlifting welcomed home 3 new IPF Open World Champions, a 3rd place for the Men’s Open Team and a 1st Place finish for the Women’s Open Team for a 4th straight year!

Kelsey McCarthy, of Boston Massachusetts, Bonica Brown of Omaha Nebraska, and Blaine Sumner of Gillette Wyoming were crowned Open World Champions in their respective weight classes. This marked the 2nd Open World Championship win for McCarthy, the 4th for Brown, and the 2nd for Sumner. Each athlete will receive performance stipends for their victories from USA Powerlifting for a job well done.

This year’s US National Team was stacked with talent beyond those crowned World Champions. The men’s team was made up of experienced veterans and new blood alike. 

Multi-time men’s national team members Eric Kupperstein, James Vang, Knute Douglas, Quintin Meyer, Joe Cappellino, Scott Dobbins, and Blaine Sumner were joined by 1st time Open National Team Member Mario Leos.

The historically successful Women’s National Team once again took home the team championship and was anchored by a team of veterans; Bonica Brown, Natalie Hanson, Becci Holcomb, Monet Bland, Suzanne Hartwig-Gary, Taylor LaChapelle, Allegra Hudson, and Kelsey McCarthy.

Noteworthy individual performances from the US National Team members are worth mentioning, as some members made history; 

  • Scott Dobbins became only the 8th person in USA Powerlifting history to squat 900+lbs in International Competition. 
  • Blaine Sumner totaled a world record 2,812lbs posting the heaviest total in IPF History while setting a new bench press world record of 938lbs.
  • Eric Kupperstein set a new M2 Squat World Record of 524lbs and was the elder statesman of the competition at 53 years old, exemplifying that world class lifting is still possible into your 50’s.
  • Bonica Brown set a new world record total of 1,744lbs and a new squat world record of 702lbs. 
  • Taylor LaChappelle competed in her 2nd Open World Championships at just 20 years old.

USA powerlifting proudly welcomes home these 16 phenomenal athletes and congratulates each of them on their performance.

It is the nature of competitive sports that the individual stories, struggles, and small victories of these individuals are not well known outside of their closest circles. Each of these athletes faced a daunting journey in the months leading up to the World Championships. Injuries, setbacks, professional commitments, and personal struggles made the path to Dubai a winding and bumpy road. But this team of 15 never quit.

The commonality of triumphing in the face of adversity and doing what needs to be done unites us all as powerlifters. These character traits and the fearlessness embodied by our Open National Team exists deep in the roots of USA Powerlifting’s culture and lives on in each one of our 22,000+ members.

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