Koykka leads PH Powerlifting team in Asian tilt

ThePhilippine Powerlifting team amassed a Best Lifter 1st runner-uptrophy, 8 gold, 17 silver, and 1 bronze medals in the 2012 Asian PowerliftingChampionships that was held recently in Udaipur, India with all team membersbringing home medals. The team also achieved 4 world records, 11 Asian records,and 23 Philippine records

The team wasled by Anita Koykka, the best active powerlifter in the Philippines at this time. Koykka, who competed with lifters from whowere 20-30 years younger, proved that age doesn’t matter by getting 1 gold& 3 silver medals in the very tough Open category. In the process, sheachieved 5 Masters World records and consequently 7 Asian records. Koykka’s gold medal came from her 90kg benchpress. In addition, Koykka earned Open Best Lifter (MVP) 1strunner-up honours, a very difficult achievement. There were tough moments forKoykka as she failed her 85kg 1st attempt in the bench press. Shecame back strongly in making her 2nd attempt, still at 85kg, beforeachieving the world record on her 3rd attempt. In the deadlift, her165kg world-record breaking try on her 2nd attempt was red-flaggeddue to a mere technicality she corrected well with an easy 165kg on her 3rdattempt. In the squat, there were no problems at all on her 155kg 2ndattempt which was her first try at a world record in this competition. In the end, her 410kg total broke her own world record Total.

BetinaBordeos was a crowd favourite due to her strong lifts and charming beauty.Competing in the Juniors class, the 21 year-old’s rank was moving back &forth between first place to last place due the very close lifts among all theother lifters. While Bordeos’ bronze in the squat was expected, she wasdisappointed with “only” a silver medal in the bench press where she was edgedout by a Kazakhstan lifter on having a lower bodyweight but with identicallifts of 85kg. However, Bordeos came roaring back to get the gold deadlift event with a lift of 167.5kg, a new Asian Junior record, to catch up to the other lifters and win the gold in the Total with 385kg combined squat, bench press & deadlift.

19 year-oldRegie Ramirez lived up to expectations when he ruled all the events in the 53kgJuniors class with gold medals in the squat, bench press, deadlift for a totalof 482.5kg to win 4 gold medals. Another Filipino lifter, Raph Hidalgo, won 4silver medals to make it a 1-2 finish for the Philippines in the same weightclass by overwhelming the 3rd running Uzbekistan lifter. Actually, Hidalgo had some opportunities toedge out teammate Ramirez for the gold in the bench press & deadlift.Ramirez had to successfully lift 105kg in the bench press and struggled with197.5kg deadlift, barely making it, to beat Hidalgo. Ramirez’ 180kg squat,however, was never threatened. Ramirez’bench press, deadlift & total were all new Asian Junior records.

JohnCastelar, lifting in the 74kg Sub-Juniors class, lifted 205kg in what seemed tobe a successful lift for the bronze medal in the squat, even better than hisearlier 190kg successful attempt. However, 2 of 3 judges thought otherwise andred-flagged it. Frustrated with the squat results, the 18 year old Castelarfocused on the bench press where he opened with 130kg. He again got red-flaggedon a technicality. Making sure on his 2nd attempt, he easily heaved130kg to get a comfortable lead against an Indian lifter for a guaranteedbronze. Castelar then successfully lifted 137.5kg on his 3rd attempt to overtake the Kazakh lifter for the silver.

Clark Cruzcomfortably won the deadlift gold medal in the 93kg Sub-Juniors class with225kg, well below his limit but taking the safe route to win it over a bigAfghan lifter to successfully defend the gold he won in last year’s AsianChampionships. However, with Cruz having a minor injury, he settled for thesilver medal in the bench press (130kg), squat (230kg) & total behind thesame Afghan lifter whose bodyweight was 20 pounds heavier.

Head of Delegation Ramon Debuque also contributed a medal, winning the silver in the bench press event of the 93kg Masters II category with a 160kg bench press.There were tense moments as Debuque got red-flagged on his first 2 attempts ontechnicalities. But with proper motivation on his 3rd attempt, he finally lifted it successfully.

Raymond Debuque, son of the head of delegation, scored 4 silver medals. Due to a kneeinjury, Raymond had to take a much lower weight attempt in the squat, allowingthe Iraqi lifter to win the gold over him and eventually the total. In the bench press and deadlift, Raymond beat the Iraqi lifter with lifts of 180kg & 230kg respectively but an Afghani out-lifted him for the golds.

Coaches for the team were Eddie Torres & Ramon Debuque.

243 lifters from 16 countries were nominated in the competition including Afghanistan,Iraq, Japan, India, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Indonesia,Philippines, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Taiwan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, & United Arab Emirates.

The team was supported by Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Dewfoam,and Gold’s Gym.


Anita Koykka (52 kg Open) – 1 Gold, 3silvers, 1 Best Lifter 1st runner-up, 5 world records, 7 Asian records, 9 Philippine records

Betina Bordeos (57kg Juniors) – 2Golds, 1 silver, 1 bronze, 1 Asian record, 1 Philippine record

Regie Ramirez (53kg Juniors) – 4 golds,3 Asian records, 7 Philippine records

Raph Hidalgo (53kg Juniors) – 4 silvers

John Castelar (74kg Sub-Juniors) – 1Silver, 4 Philippine records

Clark Cruz (93kg Sub-Junior) – 1 Gold,3 Silvers

Ramon Debuque (93kg Master II) – 1silver, 2 Philippine records

Raymond Debuque (120+ kg Junior) – 4silvers