Brandon Samuels, 21, is all smiles after also being ranked the second best powerlifter in Africa in his division, after participating at the championships held in Potchefstroom.
Two years ago, the young man from Montrose Park set out to achieve his dreams of becoming a professional powerlifter, despite only being employed part-time at a printing shop.
In March, Brandon was awarded his Protea colours after breaking the national deadlift record at the SA Powerlifting Championships and qualified for the world champs in Sweden.
But his elation was short-lived and he couldn’t go as he needed to raise more than R30 000 in just two months.
“I felt kind of down and my performance went down because again it was a problem with finances,” he says.
“A private donor from Mossel Bay who saw me in the [Daily] Voice contacted me and made a donation.
“I actually got fat and weighed 70kg, but because I was competing in the under 66kg division, I had to go on a diet and work hard to motivate myself and get ready for the All Africa Games.”
With the help of his coach, Ebrahim Mubara, Brandon was ready to compete but when he arrived, he found that there were no other qualifiers in his weight division, so he set out to break his own records.
“The All Africa deadlift record was 250kg but I achieved 252.5kg and I set the new record.
“This was also the record in the national junior and senior deadlift records for South Africa, so I obtained two more records.
“In the total score record for the national junior and senior category, I achieved 550 points and the previous record was 545.”
In the junior overall ranking, Brandon came second to Merwas Eslam Salem from Libya.
“I am very happy with the progress and my family and my fiancée, Adrienne Stuurman, really supported me.
“Now I am focused on raising funds for the 2020 World Champs so I can compete on an international stage.”
If you would like to assist Brandon, contact him on 084 651 7140 or email [email protected]