The Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport held an appreciation luncheon for Gumendra Shewdass, Guyana’s first junior world champion power lifter at the New Thriving Restaurant on Main Street, Georgetown.
Gumendra is an eighteen-year old sub junior power lifter from the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPF). The nation’s youngest ever world champion recently returned to Guyana on Monday after dominating the 53kg class at the World Sub Juniors and Juniors Championships in Killeen, Texas. He hails from Corriverton, Berbice.
The gathering at the event included Minister of Sport Dr. Frank Anthony and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Alfred King, members of the team, his parents and the president of the Federation Mr. Peter Green.
Mr. Green highlighted that it was a very proud moment for the federation, and acknowledged that the ministry has invested over $900,000 in preparation for Shewdass’ participation in the competition.
Minister Anthony said, “The whole of Guyana can be proud of this young man, he is an example of what can be achieved if we persevere.” He added that “all our investments in power lifting have really paid off.”
The minister also advised the team members not to let this type of victory get to their head, but to keep on practicing and striving for better and be prepared for any form of competition.
He said “Guyana is now the power house for power lifting in the Caribbean.”
He added that he is aware that the federation is contemplating hosting some international competitions in Guyana in 2015 and indicated that the ministry fully supports the idea. The ministry also allocated a sum of money in the 2013 budget for the purchase of equipment for the federation.
The confident champion expressed his gratitude to the ministry, his trainer, his family and his teammates for their support. He added that he is looking forward to entering the junior team which he also plans to dominate.
The federation has been seeing tremendous success for a number of years. He added that the breakthrough started with “’Big’ John Edwards. Edwards will be participating in the upcoming IPF (International Powerlifting Federation) World Masters Power lifting Championships in St. Catherine, Canada from September 26 to October 4, in categories of the undefeated local open, as well as master’s heavyweight champion.
He has a remarkable international record of also being undefeated at the Caribbean, Regional and Pan American level since 2008.