It happened. Finally. After a disqualification (2019) and two fourth places (2021 and 2022), Ines Kahrer “slammed” the equipped powerlifting at the European Championships 2023. In Thisted, Denmark, the 27-year-old won the bronze medal with a total performance of 550 kilograms. In addition to the big one, the athlete was able to wear two small medals for her achievements in the individual disciplines: bronze in the squat and gold in the bench press. Especially the latter was difficult for the woman from the Innviertel to grasp. “I stood in front of the screen with my trainer and said: Imagine the others are now doing a bike (not a valid attempt in the rating, editor’s note) – then it could be bronze in the overall rating. And that’s exactly how it happened,” says Ines Kahrer happily.
At the beginning of the competition, nothing had indicated this feeling of happiness. After a difficult preparation including a two-week break due to illness, Ines Kahrer’s first attempt at the European Championships was invalid. Ironically, in her favorite discipline: the squat. “But this time I stayed calm. I knew it would be something,” says the athlete from Aurolzmünster – and was right. In the end, she scored 225 kilograms. “I felt so good doing it that I would have believed myself capable of even more.”
The first gold
Ines Kahrer managed the “more” with the bench press. With 142.5 kilograms she won gold, her first in an individual discipline. “Such a sense of achievement is of course an enormous boost for self-confidence,” says the 27-year-old. When two other competitors then also conceded the said “Radl” in the bench press, “it was clear to me that this time it will almost certainly be enough for a medal.” In order not to endanger them anymore, Kahrer deliberately went easy on the final deadlift: With 172 kilograms. In the end, 182.5 kilograms brought her the long-awaited bronze medal. “I wanted to do 187 on the last try, but I couldn’t bring the weight up. But that didn’t matter, I dropped it with a laugh,” says the powerlifter.
Your loved ones followed the athlete’s success at home in the live stream. At a brunch together. “All my family and my friend Bianca were with my sister. Then they all called me together and congratulated me during this telephone conference,” says Kahrer, whose Austrian colleagues were also successful at the European Championships with places two, three and five.
A short break
Back in the Innviertel, Ines Kahrer took a week’s break. “I really didn’t lift a finger. At least in terms of sport.” Enough time for the scratches from the tight equipment to heal. But only days after her return, the 27-year-old resumed training. In addition to the European Championships in Denmark, she would like to take part in other competitions this year: the European Bench Press Championships in France, the World Powerlifting Championships in Lithuania and the State Championships in autumn. “It is questionable whether all this will work out, because our association is not exactly swimming in money. Nevertheless, I want to be prepared and fit if the worst comes to the worst. In addition, this medal gave me an extreme boost in motivation,” says the Innviertler.
In addition to her training sessions and work as a physiotherapist, Kahrer currently has a few other “construction sites”. She moves her practice from Ried to Tumeltsham and in a few weeks her house, which she is building with her friend Bianca, will be erected. The 27-year-old then has her own training room there. It is decorated with the numerous trophies and medals that she and Bianca have collected over the years through their sporting achievements. “What is certain is that the bronze medal from Denmark will have a very special place,” says Kahrer.
The successful athlete is also certain that she will continue to work on this collection. “After such a success, the bite is different again. I also know that there is more to come.”