Squadron Leader Sarah Wheal, from the Combat Support Division at RAAF Base Amberley, has won the Women’s Masters National Powerlifting Competition.

The Australian powerlifting competition, held in Melbourne, saw lifters from around the country competing.

Originally from Western Sydney, Squadron Leader Wheal was selected for the Queensland team for the second time.

To prepare for the competition, Squadron Leader Wheal, a lead Combat Support Group planner on major exercises like Cope North and Pitch Black, trained for two hours a day, four days a week, on the three competition lifts: squat, bench press and deadlift.

She said it was a personal achievement to represent a team in an individual sport after discovering a talent for powerlifting five years ago as a regular CrossFit athlete and coming second in her first competition.

“I’ve been working with a sport psychology coach as well as my lifting coach to ensure my mental game is as strong as my physical,” Squadron Leader Wheal said

“On competition day, performance is about execution on the platform and none of your ‘gym numbers’ count.

“I had to be focused on my own lifting, confident in executing my lifts and trusting my coach to look after the detail. The end result was that I had fun, lifted well, and came away with my first ever national championship.”

Following her win, Squadron Leader Wheal has been selected to represent Australia in the International Powerlifting Federation Masters World Powerlifting Championship in the Masters 1 under 76kg class in Canada in October.