DERRY powerlifting club celebrated their most successful weekend ever with an inspiring display of strength at the WPU World Championships in Limerick.
Twelve weeks of meticulous programming paid off as club members were dominant across many of the weight classes in both the male and female sections.
The four day event attracted more than 300 strength athletes from around the world and the Derry club contributed massively to Team Ireland’s winning total medal haul.
Derry coach Billy Hutchison took a team of 14 lifters to the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel, and they returned home with 10 gold medals, six silver medals and four bronze medals, as well as 10 new world record lifts.
Commenting last night, Billy said he was proud of his team.
“I am so proud of my team,” he said. “They put the hours in, trusted the programming and got the results. There’s no real secret to it. Anyone can achieve what they are looking to do, with consistency and a bit of willpower. They deserve this success.”
The Derry coach himself brought home three silver medals, after some fierce battles in the most competitive weight classes of the competition. He finished second in the 82.5kg full power event after climbing a weight class on short notice, and backed it up by climbing on the podium twice more in the single lifts competition, with silvers in benchpress and deadlift (90kg class).
Emma Rogan took top spot in the full power competition and won the best overall lightweight female trophy with another incredible performance. In the 56kg weight class (raw), she squatted 122.5kg, benched 67.5kg, and pulled 145kg for a total of 323.5kg, all world records.
Danielle McKinney was equally as impressive in the full power event, securing four world records and a gold medal in the under 60kg class, with lifts of 125kg, 65kg and 152.5kg for a total of 342.5kg. She backed that up with another world record in the single lifts, with a 155kg deadlift.
Marie Walker lifted well in the full power competition, taking a silver medal in the under 60kg class.
Also competing in the full power event, Leona Connolly took silver in the 75kg class. She followed up with a silver in the benchpress and bronze in deadlift during the single lifts competition.
Andy Chapman was on top of the podium twice, winning gold in the 67.5kg single lifts benchpress competition with a lift of 140kg and he then pulled 225kg to win the deadlift event, just missing out on a world record, despite locking out a 231kg pull.
16-year-old Glen Myles hit a 245kg deadlift in the 90kg class to smash a world record and benched 85kg to win a gold medal in the single lifts.
Andy Simpson lifted a personal best deadlift of 245kg at a bodyweight of 88kg to strike gold in the single lifts.
Gerard Gray landed another gold medal for the team in the single lifts deadlift and he took a bronze in the benchpress (75kg class).
Paul Locke took a bronze medal in the 110kg open class deadlift competition in the single lifts and another Derry competitor, John Walker finished fourth. Both lifted personal bests on the day.
Katie Ewing took top spot in the 60kg class single lifts deadlift competition with a 130kg pull.
Karla Harkin secured a world record as well as a gold and silver medal with a 122.5kg deadlift (gold and WR) and 55kg bench (silver) in the 56kg single lifts section.
And Laura Gray bagged a bronze and silver medal in the 82.5kg class, second in the deadlift (120kg) and third in the benchpress (52.5kg).