Johnson lifts gold

Cayman sent a local power lifter to the regional championships last week and he did exceptionally well again.

In fact, for the second year in a row Cayman’s Lawrence ‘Fire’ Johnson was successful. He won the gold medal in the 90kg Class at the NAPF Caribbean Bench Press and Powerlifting Championships.

The tournament was held in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands on 15 March, involving athletes representing the USA, US Virgin Islands, Denmark, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago and Ireland. Accompanying Johnson in St Thomas was powerlifting coach Tiger Wilson.

Powerlifting championships are comprised of three disciplines; squat, bench press and deadlift and Johnson was focused on breaking his personal best record in each area, as well as winning the competition.

The squat was the first round of the competition. Johnson failed his first attempt however on his second attempt he was successful with a weight of 525lbs (265 kg). On his third attempt he was able to squat 606lbs (272 kg) which put him in first position with a lifter from Denmark, Erik Rassmussen, in second place with a total of 260kg.

The second round was the bench press. Despite another false start Johnson was still in good form and eventually the round broke down to a show of strength between Rassmussen with a weight of 175kg. and Johnson with a weight of 165kg. This put Denmark in the lead by a narrow margin.

For the third and final round of competition, the deadlift, coach Wilson and Johnson saw a new opportunity open up and therefore decided to change their game plan by placing their focus on trying to winning the Overall Championship and not just Johnson’s class.

Johnson lived up to his nickname and turned up the heat and started out with a deadlift of 628lbs. (285kg). Johnson executed his lift with ease while Rassmussen was only able to make a lift of 496lbs. (225 kg). Ireland was able to inch ahead of Rassmussen in the first round of lifts. On his second attempt Johnson was easily able to execute a lift of 650lbs (295kg).

Considering that Johnson was the sole athlete representing the Cayman Islands, he was still able to garner enough points to place Cayman fourth in the overall points standings for teams. Although he wasn’t able to win the Overall he still did exceedingly well by placing third behind athletes from Puerto Rico who captured the first and second place Overall positions.

Wilson said: ‘The Cayman Islands Natural Bodybuilding Association, of which Johnson is a member, wishes to congratulate him on a job well done and would also like to take the opportunity to thank those business and individuals who made the trip possible, including National Concrete, Raul Gonzalez, Robert Walter and Raul Gonzalez, Jr.’

Wilson added: ‘I was very pleased with the high standard of competition at the championships and was delighted to be able to accept the invitation for the Cayman Islands to host the 2009 NAPF Caribbean Benchpress & Powerlifting Championships.’

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