Student - July 26, 2019

Students squat, bench press and deadlift at the WC in Estonia

Luuk Zegers

Three ladies of the Wageningen Beasts travelled to the World University Powerlifting Championships 2019 that takes place from 22 to 28 July in Tartu, Estonia. Marianne van de Wouw (21), student of Management, Economics and Consumer Studies and powerlifter: ‘I prefer this to lying on the beach; there’s no excitement and adrenaline to be found there.’

Left to right: Marianne van de Wouw, Anne Grundlehner and Elke de Leeuw. © Wageningen Beasts

In addition to Van de Wouw, Anne Grundlehner (22, student of Biology) and Elke de Leeuw (20, student of International Development Studies) also took part in the World Championships. Van de Wouw in the class up to 52 kilos; Grundlehner in the class up to 63 kilos and De Leeuw in the class up to 72 kilos. It was the first international competition for each of them.

Marianne van de Wouw. © International Powerlifting Federation
Marianne van de Wouw. © International Powerlifting Federation

The Beasts flew to Tartu together with three lifters from Obelix in Utrecht. ‘This means that the six of us form Team Netherlands’, Van de Wouw says. ‘We help each other warm up and ensure that the ones in competition at a given time have the least possible stress. We fly back on Saturday.’

Squat, Bench, Deadlift
During the championships, participants perform three exercises: the squat, the bench (bench press) and the deadlift. Van de Wouw squatted 102.5 kg, pressed 50 kg on the bench and ended with a deadlift of 132.5 kg. ‘I’ve set new personal bests (PB) for bench press and deadlift. My total score was a PB as well.’ Van de Wouw’s deadlift was good for a third place in her weight class, but with the squat and the bench added to it, she ended up just missing the podium with a fourth place out of twelve.


Squat by Anne Grundlehner. © International Powerlifting Federation


Bench by Marianne van de Wouw. © International Powerlifting Federation

...and deadlift

Deadlift by Elke de Leeuw. © International Powerlifting Federation

Grundlehner squatted 80 kg, pressed 60 kg and deadlifted 117.5 kg. This yielded a sixteenth place out of eighteen in the class up to 63 kilos. She has achieved a competition PB on each of the lifts.

De Leeuw squatted 122.5 kg, pressed 60 kg and deadlifted 145 kg. With this score, she finished as the twentieth of the twenty-four in the class up to 72 kilos.

Do the students have time to see something of Estonia? Van de Wouw: ‘There is time to explore the city on Thursday, and we do have off on mornings and evenings. But we are mainly here for the competition. So do we really see the country? No. But we do see something of the city.’

‘If you get the chance to participate in an international competition, you can’t let that opportunity go pass by’, Van de Wouw continues. ‘I prefer this to lying on the beach. We meet nice people, and everyone encourages one another. The excitement, the adrenaline. I won’t find that at the beach.’

Tone it down
Even after the World Championships, the ladies will keep training, Grundlehner says. ‘Otherwise we lose strength. That would be a waste of the work that was put into it.’ However, they will tone it down a bit over the coming period. ‘I normally train five to six times a week’, Grundlehner says. ‘I think those numbers will go down by one or two.’