Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Henley rugby player breaks world record

A HENLEY rugby player has set a world record in powerlifting.

A HENLEY rugby player has set a world record in powerlifting.

Amy Atkinson lifted 90kg in the bench press at the final of British Unequipped Full Power Championships at Kings Lynn on Saturday.

She bettered the previous record of 88kg in what was only her second official competition.

Amy also lifted 130kg in a squat and 155kg in a deadlift, giving her an overall total of 375kg. She came joint first in the open and top of the senior categories for her under 70kg class.

The 28-year-old, who weighs just over 10-and-a-half stone, only took up competing in January while she was recovering from a knee injury.

Amy told the Henley Standard: “You start off with something that you know you are going to get so I started with an 80kg lift, then 85kg and then the 90kg.

“I got three white lights on the lifts so it was great. I knew 88kg was a British record so I was trying for that but I didn’t realise that it was the world record as well.

“None of the lifts are easy because you have to do it in the right way. If you press a little too long, hold it at your chest too long, or don’t rack it when you are told to you are disqualified.

“Lifting the weight itself wasn’t easy but it wasn’t really tough, it was somewhere in the middle.

“At some point it the future I will probably go for a weight a little bit heavier but I haven’t done a huge amount of training.”

Amy is a geography teacher at Abingdon Boys School and in April last year she injured her left knee on a school trip in America.

She tore three of the four ligaments, fractured her tibia and tore her hamstring. She has been working in the gym with the aim of getting back to playing rugby ever since.

Amy, who is now in her seventh season with Henley Hawks Women, played her first full 80 minutes since returning from injury on Sunday.

“During my rehabilitation I was doing lifts anyway,” Amy says. “I was doing a lot in the gym and I started to get bored of not doing anything competitive.

“A friend of a friend told me about a friendly powerlifting competition, which took place just before Christmas in Newbury and I went along and really enjoyed it.” Amy went online to see if there were any competitive events she could take part in and she signed up for one in Birmingham where she qualified for the finals.

She recalled: “You definitely have nerves - it is different when you have lots of people watching, rather than people in the gym.”

Amy hopes to take part in a European Full Power competition in April.

She added: “As long as it doesn’t clash with anything else or rugby then I am happy to keep going as I really enjoy it. It’s one of the friendliest and open sports there is.”

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