Odell Manuel crowned Australia's strongest powerlifter
THE only thing bigger than Odell Manuel's muscles is his newest trophy.
So much so the Rockhampton power lifter had to fork out an extra $35 in luggage fees just to get the huge, steel trophy back to Rockhampton on the plane from Melbourne.
Mr Manuel was crowned the strongest man in Australia and upgraded to the third strongest man in the world, in the super-heavyweight power-lifting field, for his jaw-dropping 1075kg total at the Pro Raw 7 competition.
After a year of bad-luck, Mr Manuel was more than happy with the results.
"This time last year I blew my bicep off the bone so it was good to get back and back on top again," he said.
"The Pro Raw 7 competition was an invitational for all of the best lifters in Australia.
"In my case, they brought an American lifter over because he was lifting closer to what I was doing, but I got the win.
"Going into the competition we both had 1050kg totals so it was good to get that little bit extra.
"It was good to have a bit of extra competition too; I've been beating guys by over 100kg more."
To accumulate his impressive total, Mr Manuel lifted 245kg in the bench, 400kg in the dead lift and squatted 430kg.
He was confident he would lift more next time he stepped up to the bar.
"I was going for 1100 but it didn't happen, hopefully next time," he said.
"The bench and squat were both PBs; I was hoping for more on the squat but it just didn't happen.
"I'm doing the Pro Raw 8 Arnold Classic in March, it's an international competition.
"I think everyone wants me to break the magical 1100 so just quietly, I'll be aiming for that.
"I'm pretty confident this time I will come close."
Mr Manuel said he was looking forward to spending some time indulging over the festive season, before his competition preparation began again early next year.
"I won't start preparing until January, I'm going back to New Zealand for Christmas," he said.
"Where there's something accomplished, there's always another goal to set."
It's impressive enough to have the strongest man in Australia walking the streets of Rockhampton, but we also have bragging rights to Australia's strongest woman.
Local woman Chleo Van Wyk joined Odell at the Pro Raw 7 competition and posted a total of 585kg in the 75kg+ weight division.
Ms Van Wyk recorded a 220kg squat, 132.5kg bench press and a 232.5kg dead lift to win her division.
Odell Manuel: 245kg bench, 400kg dead lift and 430kg squat
Chleo Van Wyk: 132.5kg bench, 232.5kg dead lift and 220kg squat