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Intermediate Powerlifting Champ Sarah Sanmoogan aspires to greater feats

Updated: May 20, 2022

Sarah Sanmoogan standing strong and focused (Photo: Kheon Evans)

For young Sarah Sanmoogan, it is not enough to achieve her goals, she must also exceed them.

“As it relates to my performance, I am pleased with the numbers I put forward. However, I am not satisfied with it,” she said.

“I haven’t been able to sit back and feel how everyone expects me to feel, feel all the happiness and joy from it because all I am focused on is getting better.”

The 20-year-old powerlifter made headlines earlier this month when she shattered four records to take home top prize in the Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation’s Intermediates/Masters championships held Sunday May 5 at the St. Stanislaus College Auditorium.

“To prepare for this specific competition, it was a lot of intense training.”

“Five days a week in the gym, coming out sore, but… it was all worth it.” Sarah smiled and said.

Sarah notes that she has always been passionate about strength and fitness, having grown up in a family where everyone is always doing some kind of sport. Her personal journey in sports started in her high school days at the prestigious St. Stanislaus College in Georgetown.

It was here she was involved in table tennis and basketball. After Secondary School, she became passionate about gym and cross fit.

“When I was growing up, every single body in the family did some kind of sport. So, I did feel some sort of pressure to fit in. So I always wanted to find something that worked for me.”

“Basketball never worked. Table tennis never worked [...] and somehow, lifting weights made me feel comfortable, and it made me feel happy. So I think I’ve found my niche.” Sarah smiled again.

As is usually the case for women heavily involved in strength sports, she faced some sexist comments as she pursued her fitness goals.

Sarah competing in her bench press event at the Championships (Photo: Kheon Evans)

“When I first started exercising, you know the usual thing where women neglect upper body? I was so into that. And every single male that saw me would tell me, ‘why would you want to get muscly and upper body strength? No man nah gon want you.’”

“So I was like, I’m not doing this for a man, I’m doing this for myself.”

“You just got to get past all of that and do what you want to do for yourself.”

“I just love the feeling of lifting weight up and feeling happy that I’m stronger than most of the men that bring me down.”

However, she remained undaunted in her training journey, with her passion for fitness eventually manifesting into a love for powerlifting. In fact, Sarah only began powerlifting in October of 2021.

Sarah training under guidance of her Coach Kheon Evans of Saiyan Fitness (Photo: Kheon Evans)

Sarah adds that she was guided by the support of her friends, family and coach as well as inspired to do better by looking at other strong successful women in the powerlifting community.

She is currently preparing for the Senior Powerlifting Championships, projected for December but dreams of representing Guyana in global powerlifting events.

“It is going to take some time since I just started. But with the motivation and help from my coach and my family and so on, I should have the goal that I want by mid-next year. And I’m willing to surpass that even more.”

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