P.E.I. kettlebell competitor wins silver at World Championships

P.E.I. native Susan Walsh is coming home with a silver medal for Team Canada after competing at the Kettlebell World Championships in Spain, where 21 countries competed.  

"It was absolutely amazing — mind-boggling, overwhelming, and exhilarating and scary," Walsh said of the competition.

Kettlebell sport is a lifting competition where competitors must lift one or two kettlebells as many times as possible in a set amount of time using different lifts — jerk lift, snatch and long cycle — or a combination of them all.

"Before they count down to lift, your stomach's in knots," Walsh said.  

Walsh lifted a 16-kilogram kettlebell 330 times in what is called a half marathon, which takes place over 30 minutes. A full marathon is an hour long.  

"I'm elated to say the least," she said of the number of lifts she achieved. "I didn't think at age 54 something like this would ever happen."

Facebook/Steve Burroughs

The oldest lifter who competed, she said, was a 71-year-old woman from France.

"It's not necessarily a sport for youngsters," she said, noting it is based on technique as well as endurance, and much of the competition is mental. 

Seven medals for Team Canada

Competitors are not allowed to put down the kettlebell at any point during the 30 minutes.

"I had never competed with that weight for that long of time for me just being there was the prize," she said.

Team Canada's five lifters will be returning home with five gold medals and two silver medals.

Walsh is hoping to add a couple of more members to the team for next year when Team Canada will compete in Poland for the World Championships.

"It would be awesome to grow the sport in Canada," she said.

More P.E.I. news