Business student seeks world powerlifting title


Josh Hancott set an unofficial world squat record
at the national powerlifting championships in March.

April 30, 2014

A Memorial University business student is in the hunt for multiple world records at the world powerlifting championships next month in South Africa.

Josh Hancott, 20, won the Canadian Powerlifting Union junior national championship in the 74 kilogram weight class in March in Ontario. He won the title with a combined score of 1,457.

“I felt good,” says Mr. Hancott, who is from St. John’s. “I was definitely pleased because I beat the silver medalist by almost 200 pounds.”

Mr. Hancott is a third-year student in Memorial’s bachelor of business administration program. He’ll compete at the world championship in Johannesburg, South Africa in June, where he hopes to bring home the title.

“I have a good chance of at least coming in the top three but my goal is to be the best,” he says.

Mr. Hancott set an unofficial world record in the squat at nationals with a personal best lift of 553 pounds, despite battling food poisoning throughout the competition. The record is considered unofficial because it wasn’t an international event.

“That’s why I was pleased with what I did because I was sick and still ended up pulling through. I’ve trained so hard for it and it means a lot to me so I wasn’t just going to give up, even though part of me wanted to because I was so sick,” he says.

Mr. Hancott is ranked in the top two going into worlds but is confident there’s still room for improvement. He hopes to make that world record official in the squat and to better his lifts in the deadlift and bench press, which were 573 and 331 pounds respectively at nationals.

“If I do the exact same number [in the squat] in June when I go to worlds, it’ll count as a world record,” he says.

He also has a chance at the records in the deadlift, which is currently at 597 pounds, and combined score.

“The world record total is 1,480 so I’m hoping to hit over that.”

Mr. Hancott trains six days a week at Max Fitness. He was inspired to take up the sport by his father, who is a former powerlifter.

“My dad introduced me to it. I started in the gym for hockey and after hockey was done and I was coming into university, Dad said that powerlifting would be good for university because I can manage my own schedule.”

Mr. Hancott is doing some local fundraising to help with the associated costs of the trip and plans to hold an event at Quidi Vidi Brewery on May 22.

Susan White-MacPherson