EnerMech employee Kierran Leith, 27, a graduate project engineer who works, very appropriately on cranes and lifting projects for the engineering team, returned home laden with gold and silver after competing for Scotland in the 2022 Commonwealth Powerlifting Federation Championships in Auckland, New Zealand.
Kierran, from Ellon, won gold in the open 120kg + weight category squat, squatting an astounding 350kg (a little over 55 stone for the imperial enthusiast). He also achieved silver in the bench press (185kg) and deadlift (330kg) which netted him silver for his total overall lifting score of 865kg.
“I was pretty happy at the time to do so well as I did, but I feel I fell short of some of my personal bests that I’ve achieved out with competition,” said Kierran. “My ambition now is to reach a combined 900kg total across the three events and to break the Scottish deadlift record of 347.5kg.”
Kierran crowdfunded more than £3,600 to finance the cost of his £5,500 trip to New Zealand, with his father Andrew (known to all as Biff) accompanying him to cheer him on. Friends and family were also able to follow his progress from afar as the championships were streamed live on the internet.
Kierran wasn’t the only Scottish gold medallist of the championships event, which is affiliated with the International Powerlifting Federation, and which attracted competitors from all over the Commonwealth. Former junior football player Reon Juskowiak won gold in the Masters 1, 93kg weight category squat, as well as a bronze medal in the deadlift.
Also representing Scotland were Kyle Burnett and William Smith in the open championship, where Smith narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in the 93kg weight category squat in what was an intensely competitive environment. Young Scot Ciar White, 21, competed in the junior category.
Kierran celebrated his wins by exploring some of the host country New Zealand, including the famous set of ‘Hobbiton’ from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Had circumstances allowed, Kierran would have been able to squat a theoretical nine and a half hobbits.
By Thom Fraser, Project Engineer, Aberdeen