After an approximate one-year absence, Nicolaas du Preez returned to competitive powerlifting, and it’s like he never left. On May 14, 2022, the powerlifter set a new competition PR total of 1037.5 kilograms (2287.3 pounds) during the 2022 Rhino Powerlifting Club (RPC) Elite Raw in Praetoria, South Africa.
du Preez’s final top total consisted of a 430-kilogram (948-pound) squat, a 237.5-kilogram (523.6-pound) bench press, and a 370-kilogram (815.7-pound) deadlift. Notably, since the 125-kilogram South African powerlifter competed in the Raw W/Wraps division, that 430-kilogram (948-pound) squat is also a Raw W/Wraps competition PR.
Check out footage of du Preez’s successful squat from the meet below, via his Instagram profile:
His new official marks in a sanctioned competition aside, du Preez didn’t leave the 2022 RPC Elite Raw without an unfortunate blemish. On that squat PR, the powerlifter wrote in his Instagram post that he tore his vastus medialis muscle (or lower inner quad) while locking out the rep.
While the damage appeared to be extensive, du Preez maintains he didn’t notice the injury until it was time to deadlift — likely putting a damper on his strength showcase. du Preez tried to power through with his deadlift despite missing a good portion of his leg strength. However, bad fortune struck again for the athlete.
“I chose 400 kilograms [881.5 pounds] as my second attempt,” du Preez wrote. “But the quad tear made a proper leg drive really difficult. Also, I tore a lot of skin off both hands, so lockout was soft and premature. I know 400-plus is there at the next competition. I do need to invest more time in keeping my hands tough.”
What a rough turn of events. That du Preez was still able to salvage a total and squat w/wraps PR — despite his quad injury and grip troubles — might be a testament to his fitness.
Here are du Preez’s final lift stats from the competition:
Nicolaas du Preez (125KG) | 2022 RPC Elite Raw Stats | Raw W/Wraps
- Squat — 430 kilograms (948 pounds) | New Competition PR
- Bench Press — 237.5-kilogram (523.6 pounds)
- Deadlift — 370-kilogram (815.7 pounds)
- Total — 1037.5 kilograms (2287.3 pounds) | New Competition PR
What Lies Ahead
At the time of this writing, du Preez has understandably not yet announced his next professional competition. Though he has not confirmed the extent of his injury, he might need some time away from the gym to properly recover.
Whenever du Preez steps onto the lifting platform again, he’ll likely be looking for a measure of redemption. With two new PRs, the 2022 RPC Elite Raw was by no means a failure for him, but in the context of his social media — it seems he believes he can do better.
Only time will tell whether du Preez’s next turn on the stage sees him show off all the power he thinks he’s capable of.
Featured image: @nicolaas_du_preez on Instagram