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The evolution of ‘Ivar’: Exploring Owen Boxall’s career

In light of Emily Godley’s recent Commonwealth Championships triumph in Samoa, we decided to take a look back at the last Europa Weightlifting club member to win Gold for Team England in the competition.

Three years ago, Owen ‘Ivar’ Boxall set the score sheets ablaze at Penang in Malaysia when he stormed to victory in the Men’s 105kg category.

Boxall snatched a mighty 158kg which placed him 10kg clear of the field. He then managed to maintain that advantage in the clean and jerk stage to total 353kg which allowed him to clinch the Commonwealth Crown.

That result made up for the heartbreak he suffered at the previous year’s event in Pune where he also recorded the best snatch in the Men’s 94kg class but failed to finish.

However, that performance showed signs of things to come as he has gone on to rack up a fare few podium positions since.

As well as his Commonwealth Championship triumph, Boxall brought home a Bronze medal from the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia.

More recently he finished third at the British International Open in June where he also clinched a third national title and broke the 200kg clean & jerk barrier for the first time in his career.

“It was a bit up and down,” said Boxall after the British. “Didn’t quite get what I wanted on the snatch but came through in the end with my clean & jerk.

“Wanted a bit more, but you know, good fun.”

It was a rollercoaster ride for Boxall. Initially, he started strongly at the Ricoh Arena with an opening gambit of 150kg but was left on the ropes after missing his next three lifts.

On the second clean and jerk he managed to steady the ship by lifting 190kg.

With his position, secure Boxall took an almighty leap of faith by placing 200kg on the bar for a British record attempt, a jump of 10kg, which ultimately paid off and earned him a 350kg total. 

“For some reason my right elbow kept popping out,” said Boxall

“It kept unlocking so I had to push for it in the end. Got the coach to work me up a bit, give me a bit of extra motivation and for that last clean & jerk I just went for it. It was good fun.”

In the competition, Boxall was coached by Andy Callard who has recently been awarded a British Empire medal for voluntary services to weightlifting.  

The extra motivation provided by coach Callard seemed to work as despite Boxall’s misfortune in the middle phase he only finished 1kg behind Lithuania’s Arnas Šidiškis in the end.

The result was even significant given Boxall had a disrupted training schedule in the lead up to the event.  

“I’ve got a bit of a bad chest at the moment” said Boxall. “And I had a week off through injury, but just excuses at the end of the day. It was good enough to get me where I was.

“You know ideally, I would have had better training, but you can’t change that at the moment can you, so it doesn’t matter.

“I’m just looking to do the Olympic qualification, going through the process at the moment. Got a few competitions on the books coming up. Looking forward to the Worlds and Europeans”