An honours student in the School of Life Sciences, Mr Darien Bester, took part in this year’s Global Powerlifting Committee World Championships in Knjazevac, Serbia, breaking three world records!
The records he set were for a 330kg deadlift, a 330kg squat, and a 215kg bench press for a combined total of 875 kg lifted.
Bester, 22, who matriculated from Maritzburg College in 2012, began weightlifting following exposure to what he describes as ‘its welcoming community’ after watching videos online and deciding to put his above-average strength to the test.
Bester is completing an Honours degree in Biological Sciences under the supervision of Professor Colleen Downs, on the placement of green plant material in raptor nest focusing on Crowned Eagles.
He says it has been challenging balancing Honours and his training which sometimes takes up to three hours a day, four days a week, but he has managed the sacrifices needed in order to excel in his chosen sport.
He said the experience of travelling overseas for the first time to compete was a privilege and he now knows he is capable of competing internationally.
‘I was overjoyed to break the Global Powerlifting Committee’s world records as the goal for this year was just to qualify and attend the World Championship,’ said Bester. ‘My goals have always been the same - to be the strongest I can be. I see the records as stepping stones for me to reach my long term goals.’
Bester aims to complete a postgraduate certificate in education after completing honours and begin teaching at high school level afterwards.