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Jim Williams- a Powerlifting Pioneer
by Keith Payne of House of Payne Powerlifting Nov 27/2000

Twenty Eight years ago this month on November 9, 1972, Jim Williams competed in the World Powerlifting Championships held in Harrisburg Pennsylvania. He had broken the record of the great Pat Casey (who had bench pressed 617 pounds) in 1971 at the Eastern USA Open with a 635 pound American record. On November 6, 1971 at the World's he had set another record with a 660 pound bench press. Needless to say the 1972 World's was a much anticipated event. Jim Williams, with ace wraps on his elbows, wearing a t-shirt and singlet, bench pressed 675 pounds for what should have been a world record. (I mention what he wore because he didn't have on any other supportive gear. I believe this is significant when it comes to comparing past and present day records). The sad part of this story is that Jim Williams' records are not recognized as being world records. The powerlifting governing body of the day (I believe the IPF) would not validate his lifts even though they were sanctioned by the AAU in a World Powerlifting event. The striking thing is the 675 pound American record stood in the AAU and later in the USFP from November 9, 1972 until July 31, 1994 when Anthony Clark established a new mark at 683 pounds. Even though several people witnessed Williams benching over 700 pounds, he never did it in a competition. I believe we need to revisit history from time to time and not let the early pioneers of the sport be forgotten. Jim Williams was one of the greatest bench pressers of all time! by Keith Payne Editors Note: Check out Keith's site at: House of Payne Powerlifting and Strength Sports






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