What a year 2017 was for Boady Santavy.
The young Sarnia weightlifter confirmed his status in January as the best junior in the nation with a record-setting performance and top-lifter honors at the Canadian Junior Championships.
Twelve months later, with his junior career coming to a close, he has solidified his place in the sport’s record books.
“He’s the best junior lifter in Canadian history,” his father and coach Dalas Santavy says matter-of-factly.
In December, the 20-year-old cemented his place in lifting lore with a stellar performance at the World Championships in Anaheim.
By the end of that meet, he held every Canadian junior and senior record at the 94-kilo weight class, as well as all the Commonwealth junior records.
His sixth-place finish at the Worlds – with lifts of 165 kg snatch and 201 kg clean and jerk – was an enormous achievement.
“I was hoping for top 15,” said Dalas Santavy, who also Team Canada’s head coach at the competition. “But number six in the world – that’s huge! I don’t know if people understand how good that is.
The sixth-place finish was even more impressive because he had never lifted before at 94 kilograms, and was competing about five pounds lighter than the weight class allowed, his dad said.
“That’s a great thing. Because the more body weight he puts on, the more he will be able to lift.”
Santavy has been working with a nutritionist recently to improve his diet and add a few pounds of muscle.
The Worlds brought a bit of unexpected drama when Santavy missed his opening lift of 157 kg in the snatch.
“I was a little freaked out,” he admits, “but it made me angry and motivated me for my other lifts.”
“I could see he was pissed off about it,” Dalas Santavy said. “Normally, I would tell a lifter to repeat the weight on their next lift, especially when it’s their opening lift. But he told me to give him 160 (kilograms)” skipping over the 157 total.
“He went out and made 160 like it was nothing… and he looked great making 165 on his third lift.”
In the clean and jerk, Santavy narrowly missed at 206 kg on his third attempt.
“I wanted 206 bad. But next time,” he said.
That next time will be the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia, in April. A clean and jerk of 206 kilograms would be one more than the current Games record. The snatch record of 167 kg is also within reach.
“Our goal is medal contention at the 2020 Olympics,” Dalas Santavy said. “He’s on target for that. The idea is for him to do better each competition.
“He has the ability,” he added. “And he deals with pain very well. That’s a great attribute for an athlete in this sport.”