Powerlifting comes natural to Malaysia’s Iban champion Stephanie Mary Ensol

Stephanie with Pick at KIA showing her medals.

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By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Dec 6: Stephanie Mary Ensol, a petite 31-year-old Iban lass’ love for powerlifting has finally paid off.

Years of dedication and commitment in the sports has now made her the number one female powerlifting athlete in the country and her colourful career in the sport continues to shine, as she recently won Gold at the Asian Powerlifting Championship 2019 at Almaty, Kazakhstan, under 47kg category.

“The love for powerlifting is the motivation for me to go on in the sport, be the best and win. To do so, I trained twice a day, six days a week,” she told reporters of her success story after arriving at the Kuching International Airport (KIA) here today.

Sarawak Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan was among those who welcomed her.

“Before every championship I took part, I am always prepared and make it a point to check on every competitor who will be there to study their strength and weaknesses,” Stephanie said of her tournament strategy.

It has been a busy year for her, where she had competed in the Asia Pacific Championship in March, world championship in June and the Commonwealth championship in September and had made good impact in her outings.

After the recent Asian championship, Stephanie said she is taking a short break, before preparing for the South East Asia Cup next year.

In Kazakhstan, Stephanie also bagged a Gold medal in deadlift discipline and two Silvers in bench press and squat disciplines.

Her coach Neil Pick said he discovered Stephanie’s hidden talent and strength when she get involved in powerlifting by chance.

“After we stop being involved in a seafood business at a hypermarket here, we had lost a lot of weight. So we go to gym to work out and took supplement.

“During the gym work that I discovered how seriously strong Stephanie was and encouraged her to try powerlifting. It is incredible and since then, she started competing and winning competitions. She is now a world-class,” said the Welshman, who is married to a family member of Stephanie.

He said that in the four and a half years, Stephanie won numerous Gold medals in the national competition and established herself as the number one rank in under 52kg and 47kg categories of the sport in the country.

“Stephanie is only the champion for the under 52kg and 47kg now and the best in Malaysia and Singapore,” he said.

Powerlifting is an Olympic sport, where 121 countries are involved and it has some 1.2 million members. — DayakDaily