On Feb. 24-26, 2023, during the Powerlifting America (AMP) Classic Open Nationals, powerlifter Natalie Richards broke new ground for her weight class. In a first-place National Championship performance, Richards notched a 501.2-kilogram (1,105-pound) raw total and became the first-ever 57-kilogram powerlifter in AMP to break the 500-kilogram barrier.
As part of her historical total, Richards recorded an all-time raw competition-best deadlift of 221.3 kilograms (488 pounds). Richards completed the pull from a sumo stance with a mixed grip. The athlete wore just a lifting belt for the deadlift, a belt and knee sleeves for her top squat, and wrist wraps for her bench press. The angle of a clip featuring Richards’ lifts makes it unclear whether the competitor was also wearing a belt on her press.
The only major powerlifting organization with a 57-kilogram category is the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF). According to its database, the IPF’s current raw all-time World Record total in the 57-kilogram division is 495.5 kilograms (1,092.4 pounds). That mark is held by France’s Jade Jacob, who captured it at the 2022 European Powerlifting Federation (EPF) European Classic Powerlifting Championships.
While Richards’ new total does not officially surpass Jade’s on an IPF level — because her achievement didn’t occur under its jurisdiction — she remains the first-ever 57-kilogram powerlifter to achieve at least 500 kilograms on a sanctioned lifting platform.
Marianna Gasparyan totaled 552.5 kilograms at 56 kilograms at the World Raw Powerlifting Federation’s The Showdown in 2020.
Here’s an overview of Richards’ all-time raw competition bests:
Squat — 178.5 kilograms (393.5 pounds)
Bench Press — 107.5 kilograms (237 pounds)
Deadlift — 221.5 kilograms (488.3 pounds)
Total — 501.2 kilograms (1,105 pounds)
According to Open Powerlifting, Richards’ victory at the 2023 AMP Classic Open Nationals extends her current winning streak to three consecutive contests. Between occasionally simultaneous Junior and Open competitions, the athlete has only ever failed to finish in first place on two instances in 12 career competitive appearances.
Per the post’s caption featuring Richards’ 2023 AMP Nationals performance, the athlete will shift her training focus to preparing for the 2023 IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships. The contest scheduled for Jun. 11-18, 2023, in Valletta, Malta, will serve as Richards’ IPF debut. Provided the athlete can transfer her strength to the tentpole contest, she will have a firm place in the IPF World Record books this summer.
Featured image: @kingofthelifts on Instagram