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‘It takes a lot of hard work & dedication’: 16 year old powerlifter on qualifying for World Championship

Posted at 6:26 PM, Jun 17, 2024

ABBEVILLE, KATC- Abbeville junior Khandi Shuford is pressing all the way to the IPF Open Classic Powerlifting World Championships this summer.

Powerlifters around the world, including 16-year-old Khandi, will compete in Vallette, Malta at the event with the largest and most diverse participation on record.

“It just takes a lot of work and dedication, you have to want to love the sport if you want to be good at it,” she said.

Her journey started at 13 years old, when she began training beside her brother. Since then, she’s dominated the young ladies weight class of girls under 18-years-old between 114-125 pounds in powerlifting.

After earning first place at the Louisiana State Championship by squatting 300 pounds, benching 195, and deadlifting 330, she qualified for nationals. During this time, she outdid her personal best ,totaling 870 pounds, landing her a spot on the world stage in Malta.

Making waves in the powerlifting community, when Khandi’s not on the performance mat, you can find her training.

“She hasn’t skipped a single workout in three years. She trains 11 months of the year, 3 times a week, and she strung years together now without missing a single workout. There are very few lifters that train to do that, life happens and a lot of them miss sometimes. I ask them to attend 90% of the workouts, she attends 100%,” Coach Travis Warner said.

Powering to the top, Khandi tells me she’s gearing up for the big day. “For a while, I was struggling with my bench press, but I finally got it up,” she said.

While the road to Malta is approximately 5,826 miles away from home, one thing’s for sure. She is already raising the bar for little girls across the country.

“I want to be able to inspire a lot of kids to not be afraid to do something. If they’re scared or think they are not going to like it, just give it a try,” she said.

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