Karlina Tongotea (76 kg) units world document squat of 225.5 kg (497.1 kilos) and wins IPF world title

Tongotea’s squat was the perfect ending to a monstrous feat.

At the 2023 International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Classic Powerlifting Championships, Karlina Tongotea scored one 225.5 kilograms (497.1 pounds) heavy squat. The brand is a official IPF world record in the 76 kg class, where Tongotea eventually emerged victorious ahead of notable contenders such as Agata Sitko and former two-time defending champion (2021-2022) Jessica Buettner. Tongotea surpassed her own squat record of 223.5 kilograms (492.7 pounds) from the 2023 Sheffield Powerlifting Championships by 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds).

Wearing a lifting belt and knee socks, Tongotea used wrist wraps to rewrite the IPF record books with her squat. This gear is considered raw in the sanctioned powerlifting context. IPF Worlds 2023 took place in Valletta, Malta from 11th to 18th June 2023. The 2023 edition of the competition was Tongotea’s debut at the prestigious competition and she made the most of that first appearance She won her first IPF World Championship title.

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Before breaking through on one of the biggest international stages, Tongotea was primarily a prolific New Zealand powerlifter. According to her personal Open Powerlifting page, Tongotea is the reigning New Zealand National Champion (2022) and has dominated in other competitive strengths on the famous islands of Oceania.

Here is an overview of the top stats of the participants from the IPF World Championships 2023:

Karlina Tongotea (76 kg) | Top stats of IPF worlds 2023

  • squatting — 225.5 kilograms (497.1 pounds) | IPF World Record
  • bench press — 122.5 kilograms (270.1 pounds)
  • deadlift — 245 kilograms (540.1 pounds)
  • In total — 593 kilograms (1,307.3 pounds)

After an appearance in the UK during the 2023 Sheffield Championships, Tongotea has now only competed three times outside the jurisdiction of Australia and New Zealand. The athlete has had twelve wins in 16 competitions since she started her career in April 2018.

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In a post following the 2023 IPF World Championships, Tongotea was emotional about her competitive journey. The athlete-turned-physician looked back on her tremendous progress over the past half decade and realized that she now stands on one of the highest peaks in powerlifting.

Of course she wants to stay there.

“I went in [New Zealand Powerlifting Academy] In 2018, I told my coach, “I have a year to enjoy this sport before I start GP training and trials,” and I got the message back in this post. We kept that to ourselves. We remembered when I won my first national championships, the first time I became number 1 in New Zealand was when I won one [World Powerlifting] title, but it never quite felt like we’d already accomplished it. Now I am IPF Classic Open World Champion [76-kilogram division], and without this partnership I would not have made it. It feels fulfilled. We did the damn thing, dom [Tongotea’s coach]. But we have to do it again.”

Featured image: @theipf on Instagram

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