by Al Myers
I’ve spent a little time yesterday updating the history archives on the USAWA website. Time goes by faster than I’d like, and it’s easy for me to forget to add the new “history”. I knew I needed to add the 2015 IAWA World results, but then noticed I had forgotten to add the 2014 results! Now everything is up to date in that section at least.
But as I was updating this important historical information, it made me think about all the IAWA history that we have accumulated. The 2015 Worlds in Scotland marked the 28th Championship, all starting by Frank Allen’s promotion of the FIRST IAWA Worlds in 1988. I remember that first Championship very well as my brother-in-law Bob Burtzloff attended it and he told me all about it upon his return. Hard to believe that 27 World Championships have been held since, and let me emphasize this – WITHOUT A MISSED YEAR! That’s a great accomplishment for IAWA and something we should be proud of.
But back to the questions that were “on my mind” as I was updating the archives. Some I knew the answers to but some I did not so I had to do a little research. I would like to share this information, as I’m hoping at least a few might be interested.
Who has promoted the most IAWA World Championships?
I named 3 of the 5 without looking. But here is the list of the SUPER PROMOTERS in IAWA, all of which you will recognize as “movers and shakers” in the organization. Each one of these promoters has promoted 3 IAWA World Championships.
1. Frank Ciavattone – 1993, 2000, 2014
2. Denny Habecker – 2002, 2005, 2009
3. Steve Gardner – 1994, 2004, 2008
4. Willie Wright – 1990, 1996, 2001
5. John Vernacchio – 1989, 1991, 1997
Which men lifters have placed in the top ten overall the most times? And women lifters in the top three?
The GREAT Frank Allen leads this list by a large margin. He has placed in the top ten 18 times, with being the overall Best Lifter twice (1993 & 1994). I believe Frank has only missed 2 of the 28 years competing in Worlds! Steve Andrews and Denny Habecker are tied for second here with 13 appearances in the TOP TEN.
Noi Phumchaona leads the women, with 11 times making the TOP THREE. Karen Gardner is next at 6 times, followed closely by Agnes McInally.
Which IAWA Worlds had the most lifter participation?
I would not know this answer if Steve Gardner hadn’t shared his IAWA World Championship history information with me. This was something I hadn’t kept track of – so I’m glad Steve knew!
It’s a tie. The most were 51 lifters which attended the 1991 Worlds in Philidelphia promoted by John Vernacchio and at the 2000 Worlds promoted by Frank Ciavattone.
Who has won the most Overall Men’s Best Lifter Awards?
Of the 28 Worlds, a total of only 16 men have won the overall best lifter so that tells you that some lifters are repeat performers. The man who has won the most is Rick Meldon of England, who has FOUR overall Best Lifter Awards (1990, 1992, 2004, 2008). Two lifters have won the BIG SHOW three times – Steve Angell and Mark Haydock.
Who has won the most Overall Women’s Best Lifter Awards?
Noi Phumchaona leads the list with 4 (1995, 1996, 1997, and 1999). She is followed by a large group that have three – Paula Thompson, Jackie Simonsen, Agnes McInally, and Monica Cook.
Off all these Championships, who had the LARGEST margin of victory for Overall Best Lifter?
Now this took some time to figure out! I really expected Steve Sherwood’s margin of victory over me in the 2011 Worlds in Australia to be the leader, as he really distanced himself from the field that day by lifting brilliantly. But it’s NOT the largest margin of victory as I’ve looked back over all past Championships. Here’s the breakdown of the top 5 for the men…
1. 1995 – Bob Hirsch over Frank Allen by 122 points
2. 1991 – Adrian Blindt over Frank Allen by 90 points
3. 2008 – Rick Meldon over Steve Andrews by 85 points
4. 2015 – Mark Haydock over James Gardner by 83 points
5. 2011 – Steve Sherwood over Al Myers by 79 points
Breakdown for the top 5 for the women:
1. 1990 – Anette Blindt over Noi Phumchaona by 285 points
2. 2006 – Mandy Hughes over Sandie Gurney by 236 points
3. 2012 – Ruth Jackson over Paula Thompson by 192 points
4. 1994 – Jacqueline Simonsen over Noi Phumchaona by 167 points
5. 1993 – Jacqueline Simonsen over Noi Phumchaona by 159 points
Which World Championships have been decided by the CLOSEST margin of victory for overall best lifters?
Again, I really expected to be part of the closest defeat as well, after Mark Haydock “clipped me” at the 2009 Worlds by 1.2 points! Mark is a brilliant strategist and knew exactly what he needed on his last attempt Zercher that day which he made. But looking back in our IAWA history I found this NOT to be the closest margin of defeat for overall best lifter. Now the top 5 for the men:
1. 1999 – Mike Archer over Frank Allen by .19 points!
2. 2009 – Mark Haydock over Al Myers by 1.2 points
3. 1997 – Bob Hirsch over James Dundon by 10 points
4. 1998 – Keith Murdie over Neil Abery by 12 points
5. 2010 – Chad Ullom over Al Myers by 16 points
For the women:
1. 1991 – Suzanne Brooker over Annette Blindt by 1 point!
2. 2000 – Monica Cook over Noi Phumchaona by 13 points
3. 1998 – Agnes McInally over Tracy Emmerson by 17 points
4. 2013 – Paula Thompson over Jenn Tibbenham by 18 points
5. 1999 – Noi Phumchaona over Monica Cook by 34 points
Now, my final question. Which poor sap has the most runner up, or second place finishes for the overall best lifter award, who had the big victory in sight but fell up short and will be reliquished to a placing that no one will ever care to remember?
That would be me (4 times – 2007, 2009, 2010, & 2011). Sigh…..