Saturday, October 24, 1998

H A W A I I _ S P O R T S

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Tony Leiato, left, and Tony Harris are all smiles as Leiato
slides more weight onto the bar during a recent workout.

The Tony Express

Tony Leiato and Tony Harris
will compete in the International
Power Lifting Senior
World Championships

By Marc Dixon
Special to the Star-Bulletin


If you go to the beach during the first week of November, you may notice a change in the water level.

Don't worry. It's not due to some strange phase of the moon or reverse global warming.

It just means that Tony Leiato and Tony Harris are on a plane or in the Ukraine, allowing our island a little time to recover from their combined 495 pounds.

Next month, the two Hawaii residents will head to Cherkassy in the Ukraine to represent the United States in the International Power Lifting Federation Senior World Championships.

In July, Harris and Leiato captured national titles in the 220- and 275-pound weight group, respectively. They combined to lift 4,079 pounds in the squat, bench press and dead lift three-lift format.

"I think we have a pretty good chance," Leiato said. "You can't go there thinking there's not gonna be any competition.

Both Tonys have international experience. Harris competed in the IPF World Championships in 1996 and 1997, and Leiato captured the 1995 World Drug-Free Powerlifting Federation title and appeared in the 1996 Olympics. They know what to expect.

"It'll be heated, but fun," Harris said. "Before the competition, everyone's friends. But once the warm-up starts and the competition gets going, it's down to business."

The most difficult part of the process may be getting there.

Considering the two men look like they would be more comfortable in the cargo hold rather than airline seats, it's not surprising that travel is their least favorite part of the experience.

"Being cooped up for all that time takes something out of you," Leiato said. "Then there's the time change and the climate change."

To combat the changes, Leiato and Harris will arrive a week before the competition to adjust to the surroundings and allow their bodies to recover for competition.

They will compete for three days before returning to Honolulu on Nov. 18, hopefully checking two world championship trophies through customs.

Quincy Guzman, another nationally ranked powerlifter, expects them to return with the titles.

"I guarantee they'll win," Guzman said. "Unless they do something stupid, like going too heavy on their first lift."

During the competition, Leiato also will attempt to set the world bench-press record of 613 pounds, which has stood since 1982.

"The most I've done is 605 pounds, and I'll be doing it (bench press) after the squat competition, so it's a real test," Leiato said.

To help offset the cost of flying halfway around the world, the Friends for Tony Leiato are having a fund-raiser tomorrow night at the Ocean Club at Restaurant Row. The Makaha Sons, Pekelo and Ilona Irvine are scheduled to appear.


In need of a 'spot'

Bullet What: Fund-raiser for Tony Leiato and Tony Harris (to offset their costs in the International Power Lifting Federation Senior World Championships).
Bullet When: Tomorrow, 5-10 p.m.
Bullet Where: Ocean Club at Restaurant Row.
Bullet Cost: $20
Bullet Entertainment: Pekelo, Makaha Sons, Ilona Irvine, Harmony

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