On June 11-18, 2023, during the 2023 International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Classic Powerlifting Championships, Belgian powerlifter Sonita Muluh scored a 285.5-kilogram (629.4-pound) raw back squat. The achievement was enough to give the athlete an IPF World Record in the plus-84-kilogram division. It also helped Muluh to a second-place performance in that category at the contest that took place in Valletta, Malta.
Muluh wore a lifting belt and knee sleeves and utilized wrist wraps to help her notch the squat milestone. Each of those pieces of equipment is considered raw in an officially sanctioned powerlifting environment. While Muluh’s staggering number is a World Record in the IPF’s highest division for Women’s athletes, it also carries the distinction of being the all-time raw World Record for any Women’s competitor ever.
The record was previously, and briefly, held by fellow 2023 IPF Worlds competitor Brittany Schlater, who squatted 281 kilograms (619.5 pounds) during her performance at the contest shortly before Muluh’s attempt. Prior to that, the record belonged to perennial IPF World Champion Bonica Brown, who squatted 280 kilograms (617.3 pounds) during a fifth-place performance at the 2023 Sheffield Powerlifting Championships.
Muluh’s squat eclipses Brown’s lift by an astounding 5.5 kilograms (12.1 pounds). Notably, Brown actually squatted more than Muluh during her 2023 IPF Worlds appearance, with a lift of 289 kilograms (637.1 pounds) on the athlete’s final attempt. However, because Brown couldn’t notch one successful deadlift pull, none of her statistics were officially recorded.
From an overarching perspective, Muluh’s second-place raw total of 688.5 kilograms (1,517.9 pounds) could’ve been seen as admirable. That’s because the eventual plus-84-kilogram class winner Brittany Schlater scored an all-time raw World Record total of 693.5 kilograms (1,528.9 pounds) for her victory.
Here’s an overview of the plus-84-kilogram division podium:
2023 IPF Worlds | +84KG Podium
- Brittany Schlater: 693.5 kilograms (1,528.9 pounds) | IPF World Record
- Sonita Muluh: 688.5 kilograms (1,517.9 pounds)
- Jewel Tasi: 647.5 kilograms (1,427.5 pounds)
According to her personal page on Open Powerlifting, this runner-up finish at the 2023 IPF Worlds is the first time Muluh has fallen short of a victory since the 2022 IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships where she placed sixth. Overall, Muluh has nine wins in 13 competitive appearances dating back to February 2020.
Muluh has made headlines in the past with her strength. Achieving a monstrous squat on one of the biggest international stages is a surefire way to build even more traction in an already promising career.
Featured image: @theipf on Instagram