The Sports Campus was the setting for the powerlifting stage as the nations took to the bench in a day of muscle and might. (There was also some rather impressive sock game as well)
Team UK Powerlifters put on a great display and well done to Ian Fisher, Gaz Hennis, Nigel White, Lucy Holt, Jules Allen, Antony Morris, Stephen Ashcroft, Johnny Mitchell, Clare Keating, Steven Baldwin who all got PBs. That's twelve in total and Victoria Wales equalled hers too.
There was some excellent medal action with James Stride literally taking it into his stride into 2nd position with three clean lifts in the Lightweight category. In the Middleweight, the crowd were kept in suspense until Jonathan Platt managed to lift an impressive 181kg in his final lift of the afternoon. He took gold for Team UK.
After finishing up her series of lifts, Powerlifting Team Captain for the squad Sarah Robinson said in an interview with the BBC Games Programme “ This is the proudest I’ve been in a long time. To have this experience in front of my family and to experience this team spirit is amazing, we’ve all been there for each other. It’s been euphoric”
Ben Richens Team UK Coach also said “Seeing Gaz complete three clean lifts after all his training was so special for me. I’m really proud of all the powerlifters for their effort and the progress they’ve shown. It just shows you the power of sport.”
If the Medal Presentation wasn’t enough, after Gregory Van Olm of Team Canada was awarded his gold for his lift of 185kg, there was an impromptu proposal at the front. Now that really does show you that anything can happen at the Invictus Games.
Today’s team sports kicked off with the first of 3 Wheelchair Basketball pool matches. First up Team UK went up against the Canadians. The UK dominated the match and Vicky Ross was on fire, barely missing a hoop meaning the team were victorious with a final score of 24-2.
Next up the team battled it out against Australia. The Aussies were off to a great start, but Team UK were biting at their heels and managed to pull in front, putting their best foot forward and leading them to a 19-11.
The final match of the day the team went up against the Dutch on their home turf. The stadium was packed with the tell-tale Dutch orange and the UK spectators cheered loudly to make our presence known. A very exciting and technical match saw Team UK give it their all with a lot of speed and agility. The Dutch came out on top for this one meaning the UK will go up against the USA tomorrow.
Coach Scott added: “Today’s determination to overcome the Australian’s, the grit shown against the Dutch and the compassion shown against the Canadian’s sums up this incredible team. There is so much still to come from this team of amazing people and I am sure they will continue to impress and inspire in tomorrow’s final knockout games.”
In true UK spirit after the team had done their lap of the stadium, the UK fans were out on the court starting what ended up to be a giant conga line of UK and Dutch fans - showing what the Invictus spirit is truly about.