Odell Manuel focuses on Aussie record after visa woes
ODELL Manuel is determined to overcome whatever life throws at him.
The current Australian heavyweight powerlifting record-holder's dream of taking on Russia's best was shattered on Wednesday when his visa was declined just three days before he was scheduled to fly out of Australia.
Manuel had been invited to take on some of the best lifters in the world at Russia's Battle of Champions powerlifting tournament and had been in training for the event since late last year.
After a year riddled with injuries, Manuel said the declined visa setback nearly had him in tears.
"There was a mix up with the invitation the competition organisers sent me and it wasn't good enough to use for my visa," Manuel said.
"The Russians are really disappointed and they did everything they could to try and get me there.
"This year has been a bad one for me with injuries and I've overcome that, only this time to have an administration problem."
With Russia ruled out, Manuel has shifted his focus to setting a new Australian record.
"It's back into the nitty gritty now for the Australian Championships in August," Manuel said.
"I'll make sure I do better than last year, I'm the current Australian champion with a record of 1020kg.
"The world record (1075kg) is always the goal... but I'd be happy with a personal best of about 1040kg."