Today a team, 5 strong represented Suffolk Spartans at the GBPF 2014 British Classic Bench at Durham Rowing Club.
First in action was Joe Strike, reigning Special Olympics British Champion and Special Olympics Record holder in Bench Press and Squat. Joe managed three good lifts, securing the British under 18 Championships and setting a new under 18 British record in the 59kg class with a final lift of 84kg. After the lifting Joe’s Dad David Strike said “For Joe to hold the British Special Olympic and able-bodied bench press records in his weight class at the same time is a unique honour. I’m not sure who wanted this record more – him or me.”
Up next was the return to national level competition of London 2012 Paralympic Games medallist Zoe Newson. In her own laid back style Zoe casually completed 3 good lifts also gaining 9 out of white lights and equalling the IPF World Classic Bench Press Record with her 3rd attempt of 90kg. She competed in both the junior and open classes and while winning both she also set British records in both classes as well. Zoe was also successfull in achieveing the additional trophy for the best female performer of the competition which in her first national championships is a fantastic achievement and meant she was the most decorated, or greedy member of Spartans with 3 trophies and 2 records herself.
Also in the first group of lifters out was Adam Alderman and in the 59kg class and having struggled recently with a slight shoulder injury he opened with 130kg and increased this to 135kg on his second attempt which was enough to secure the British title. The third attempt of 138kg however was unsuccessful but this was still enough to secure Adam the British Record. Adam was also able to secure an additional trophy, the best male performer on the day which is a huge compliment with the standard of lifting across all the weight groups on the day.
The second group in the competition saw Riccardo Biondi take the stage on his first British Finals and with his opening lift of 106kg he secured the British record in the u20 age category as well as the Junior British title. Riccardo extended this record with his two further attempts of 110kg and 112.5kg but on the day he could only secure a second place in the open category.
Finally representing Suffolk Spartans was Ben Cattermole who competed in the u74kg and as a Junior lifter. Ben took his first lift of 112.5kg comfortably and extended this to secure a personal best lift of 117.5kg on his second lift. His third lift of 120kg was unsuccessful on this occasion but he had already secured a first place and can claim the title of British Junior Bench Press Champion. This will be the 4th time Ben has won the British Bench Press Championship in the last 5 years which is an impressive achievement for any junior lifter.
Spartans Coach Dan Collins said “The results of the lifters today is testament to how hard everyone associated with this club works in training and to how much can be achieved by a small dedicated group of volunteers. Thanks to the GBPF YNE Division for putting on a great competition and a special thank you must go to Chris and Jim for answering all our queries so quickly and making us so welcome.”
Spartans coach Louise Collins said “The results today were outstanding with the quality of lifting from our team being extremely high. All of the Spartans lifters who competed today are hoping to compete abroad in the future and with such performances we look forward to seeing several of them on an international platform soon.”