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GBR sent a fantastic team out to compete, including 10 men and 8 women across all age and weight categories.

Full results can be found at https://www.europowerlifting.org/results/2019/european-equipped-open-masters-junior-bench-press-championships-in-tampere-finland-2019.html.

Our best results across the board were a silver, and two bronze medals from our men’s team along with two silvers and a bronze from our ladies masters team! 

We had a fantastic silver medal from Junior lifter Kris Franklin, in the under 83kg class!

Despite missing his 210kg opener, he pulled back strongly and took that weight for his second and attempt and finishing on 222.5kg, giving him 668.37 IPF points. We had a bronze come from Glyn Belsher in the Masters 3, under 93kg class, where he finished with 142.5kg!

 

Amanda Hughes in the M1 under 52kg class flew straight back from the Equipped Worlds to get a silver, pressing 75kg; Sarah Bouskill also got a silver in the M1 under 84kg+ class, pressing 130kg and Wendy Kirkland in the M1 under 72kg class took a bronze with a press of 115kg! Well done to all our amazing team

The final bronze medal came from Open, under 93kg lifter, pocket rocket Andy Champ of Champion Strength. We caught up with Andy to ask him a few questions about his experience!

Firstly, congratulations on your bronze medal in Finland, how are you feeling about getting on the podium?

I genuinely didn't expect to be anywhere near a podium position this year. My goal was to give the best account of myself and use the experience for the future. My aim was to finish strongly in 5th place. My opener was heavy, but I feel was a safe selection. No plan really after that.

Tony Cliffe feels that equipped powerlifting is beginning to have a renaissance in the UK and elsewhere, what do you think about it?

Definitely. Participation is definitely on the rise. And that, in its nature, increases the standards. It's a very expensive sport to get involved in. There are several clubs, including ours, that have accumulated a large stock of kit so to allow a gateway into the sport without it costing new lifters too much. We personally have introduced 4 or 5 new lifters into Equipped Powerlifting. With several clubs doing the same across the country that's a large injection of new lifters.

You lift as a 93, and it's not a secret you're not a particularly tall lifter, did you ever consider being an 83 or lower and do you think this would improve your competitiveness?

It's definitely something I've thought about. I'm only 5'4", and I sit about 94kg day to day. My recent block put about 2kg of muscle on. 88kg is a weight I think I'd be able to maintain comfortably. I think to compete at 83 I would have to diet hard for the last 3 or 4kg. I'm pretty stocky anyway, and my aim is to be a little more conditioned for the next comp and have some scope to increase my muscle mass. But having said that, it may be something that has some legs for the future.

What's next on your agenda, now you've got a European Championships medal?

I have the world full power in 4 or 5 weeks in Dubai. That's the next time I compete. I have my targets for that personally, but I'll be nowhere near to top. It I can finish close to the top 10, I'll be happy. For me it's more about my personal performance, and international experience.

Who do you most admire within powerlifting, equipped or otherwise?

I've already mentioned him previously. Jan Wegiera. Before I'd competed I'd watch the international championships on YouTube. Naturally I'd watch my weight class. Jan was immediately someone that I'd admired. He's in his mid 50's, he consistently performs, he's one of the best lifters in the world, and the best 93 in history. To be sharing a platform with him is something I would have thought unlikely. To share the podium with him was very surreal. We actually see each other fairly regularly now, and he's such a nice guy. He's always smiling. Comes across as very humble. Doesn't speak a word of English, but will always exchange pleasantries.

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