The 2024 para powerlifting season kicked off last weekend, with the Munster Open bringing Ireland's top para powerlifters to SETU Waterford.

The Munster Open was hosted at SETU Waterford where para powerlifters from across Ireland competed, some for the first time since the World Cup in Dubai earlier this year.

Starting with the men’s Up to 72kg category, Ruairi Devlin and debutant, Jack O’Connor competed for top spot.

In a close contest, making his first appearance, O’Connor set a new personal best when he lifted 50kg on his final attempt. Experience was what proved to be vital in this category, when Devlin lifted 90kg on his second attempt, claiming first place in the Next Gen and Elite categories. Meaning Galway’s Jack O’Connor claimed second place on his first outing in the Elite category.

Paralympian hopeful, Niamh Buckley competed in the Up to 67kg category. The Kerry woman breezed to gold with a best lift of 74kg on the day. Another with eyes on Paris this summer, Britney Arendse added to her collection of medals with another gold. Her best lift of the Open weighing at 128kg, competing in the Up to 79kg category.

Also in the same category was rising star, Casey Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald claimed gold in the Next Gen category and silver in the elite category. A bonus for the Cavan woman was also setting a personal best in the process, lifting 82kg.

Making a return to competition for the first time in over a year, Aine Monk was in the 86+ category. A very successful return, Monk racked up three successful lifts at 37kg, 40kg and then a personal best of 42kg, claiming gold in the process.

Meath-native, Sean Hughes returned to action in the up to 97kg category. Hughes failed on the first attempt to lift 147kg but on his second attempt saw white flags, being enough to seal gold.

Cork woman, Angela Long made her first appearance since the National Championships in November. It was a competition to remember for Long, who set a new personal best of 77kg as she claimed gold in the elite and legends competition.

Next up in para powerlifting is the Para Powerlifting World Cup in Tblisi, Georgia this June. Where Britney Arendse will look to move closer to booking her place to the Paralympics.

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Para Powerlifting

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