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Lahaina women win powerlifting world titles

By Staff | Nov 19, 2009

Velma Panlasigui (left) and Elizabeth Cabe both set event and state records at the contest.

LAHAINA — The World Bench and Dead Lift Championships were held at the Peppermill Hotel in Reno, Nevada from Oct. 27 to Nov. 1.

There were 530 lifters from around the world. Two of the strongest — the only women dead lifters representing the State of Hawaii — came from Lahaina,

Velma Panlasigui, competing in the Open Division, 132-pound weight class, 40-47 age class, beat three-time world champion Mary Ann Hobbs in a fierce battle.    

Velma lifted 303 pounds to Hobbs’ 292 pounds, giving her the Open World Championship title. This was also a new state dead lift record in the Open Division.

Velma also won the Master Women Division dead lift, setting a new Hawaii Master state record.

Elizabeth Cabe, the smallest competitor in the contest at 93 pounds, lifted 282 pounds — triple her body weight — to win the Open Division, 97-pound weight class, 40-47 age class title for the second year in a row. Her lift was a new Open Division state record.

Elizabeth also won the Master Women dead lift with a new Master World record and the trophy for best Women Master lifter.

She also took first place in the Master Women Division bench press contest, putting up 88 pounds. This gave her three world titles in the championships.    

Elizabeth had the third best dead lift ever in the Open Division, 97-pound weight class.

Both women are the first from Maui to win powerlifting world titles. They compete for the West Maui Powerlifting team, a powerhouse in the state.

They are coached by Craig Desoto and train at Valley Isle Fitness Center at the Fairway Shops in Kaanapali.

Also from Maui, Judd Sato won the bench press in the Teen Men Division, 181-pound weight class, 16-19 age class, with a 407-pound press. He was awarded best lifter in the Teen Men Division.

Judd also took third in the Teen Men Division dead lift with a 422-pound pull.