S'pore powerlifter Farhanna Farid breaks own U-52kg world record at Southeast Asian Cup
SINGAPORE — When Ms Farhanna Farid, a world record holder for the U-52kg deadlift, strode up to the barbell on Friday (Sept 16) to perform her event at the inaugural Southeast Asian Cup powerlifting competition, the Singaporean’s thoughts were not about whether she could beat her record, but on her charges who were competing internationally for the first time.
- Ms Farhanna Farid broke her previous U-52kg deadlift world record of 200.5kg which she set in June
- On Friday, she hauled 201kg on her second attempt at the inaugural Southeast Asian Cup in Malaysia
- Ms Farhanna has her eyes set on the Asian Championships in Dubai next, where she hopes to break more records
SINGAPORE — When Ms Farhanna Farid, a world record holder for the Under-52kg deadlift, strode up to the barbell on Friday (Sept 16) to perform her event at the inaugural Southeast Asian Cup powerlifting competition, the Singaporean’s thoughts were not about whether she could beat her record, but on her charges who were competing internationally for the first time.
Speaking to TODAY in a phone interview from Johor Bahru on Sunday, the 30-year-old, who has also broken six Asian records since she started competing in 2018, said she was at the meet not only as an athlete, but as a coach as well.
“I was very much preoccupied with planning everything for (my own athletes), making sure they were all right, before I actually thought about myself… I didn’t have time to get nervous about the competition,” said the national powerlifter, who has been a coach for about a year.
Based on their total scores for the three lifts, Singapore's 48-strong contingent secured 26 gold, seven silver and nine bronze medals at the end of the four-day event on Sunday, which was held in Johor Bahru in Malaysia. The athletes also set seven Asian records.
Singapore also won overall best team, overall best female lifter (Ms Farhanna) and overall best male lifter (Mr Clinton Lee, men's U-74 open, also president of powerlifting Singapore) for the entire championships.
Ms Farhanna herself hauled an impressive 201kg — or about four times her bodyweight — on her second attempt to set a new world record for her weight class by surpassing the one she broke earlier this year.
The record aside, she was proud to have "secured another (win)" for Singapore.
In June, Ms Farhanna had cleared 200.5kg at the World Open Classic Powerlifting Championships 2022 in Sun City, South Africa and became the first Singaporean to win an Open category, beating the previous record of 196.5kg set by Ms Shizuka Rico of France.
Ms Farhanna, who works as a medical information specialist in her day job, said during the months of training after the competition in Sun City, she had hit even heavier weights with the aid of a wrist strap — an accessory that improves a weightlifter’s grip.
But as they are not allowed during a competition, she said there was always that “iffy question” of whether her grip would hold up during the actual event.
“I've had multiple incidents where I'm able to pull the weight, but I'm just not able to hold on long enough because my skin tears, or my callus tears,” said Ms Farhanna.
“I know the strength is there, but there are other factors that are a bit out of my control.”
These niggling doubts aside, Ms Farhanna said she had “put in the work” and had faith that she could at least maintain her previous record as she entered the competition in Malaysia.
But between her day job, her role as an athlete and a coach, it was a real “test of juggling” her priorities, said Ms Farhanna, who was also overseeing the renovation of her home in the lead-up to the competition.
It took a toll on her social life, unless friends were willing to meet her in the gym or after training.
“It’s about knowing what's important at that time and knowing how to manage yourself. But, yeah, it's always possible, if you want to make (your goals) happen.”
Moving forward, Ms Farhanna said she has her eyes set on the Asian Championships, which will be held in Dubai in December.
“We're hoping to take more Asian records, and hopefully break records there,” she said.
“I want to clock in as much competing experience as I can to better myself as an athlete and a coach. Every opportunity I can get to represent the country, I would feel it is a wasted opportunity if I don’t take it up.”