Pontefract weightlifting event proves a huge success

Ruta Lendraitene, world bench press champion, in action at Pontefract. Picture: Max Wailes
Ruta Lendraitene, world bench press champion, in action at Pontefract. Picture: Max Wailes

The first British Weightlifting registered BWL Body Design FIT Championships proved an outstanding success in Pontefract on Saturday.

The event, held at Pontefract's Ambience pub, saw 27 entrants – the third largest ever for a BWL invitational – and the home lifters from the Body Design FIT Pontefract club all performed well.

Ruta Lendraitene is congratulated on a successful lift. Picture: Max Wailes

Ruta Lendraitene is congratulated on a successful lift. Picture: Max Wailes

In the first group Jamie Bingle, lifting for the first time ever, got all six of his lifts and claimed new personal bests on the snatch, clean and jerk and total.

Connor Mckay, in just his second event, posted a 128kg total, just 2kg below the English U17 standard needed for January.

Kobain Riley, a four time British Schools champion, posted a personal best 50kg clean and jerk and kept the trend going of making all his lift attempts.

Martyn Riley, former European champion, broke the British Masters snatch, clean and jerk and total records and qualified for the World Masters.

Women lifters before their competition at Pontefract. Picture: Max Wailes

Women lifters before their competition at Pontefract. Picture: Max Wailes

Next on the platform were two young girls from Mytholmroyd, who are coached by weightlifting legend Ed Halstead and who at five and 11 showed great technique - which under 12 lifters are judged on to emphasis the development of safe lifting. They entertained the crowd and did a great promotion of young lifting.

The following group contained the Body Design ladies with less experience, although their performances were well above expectation.

Sam Towell and Sarah Green both broke the Northern England snatch, clean and jerk and total records to qualify for the English and British Masters Championships.

Leanne Taylor, in her first match, smashed all her attempts and only narrowly missed the English Masters standard. Ellen Cooper and Lucy Sherlaw both posted personal bests in their first match.

Alice Smales attempts a lift. Picture: Max Wailes

Alice Smales attempts a lift. Picture: Max Wailes

In the next group Liv Ainley posted a PB 50kg clean and jerk and qualified for the English U15 Championships. Sarah Eccles, despite hurting her back in training two days earlier, lifted brilliantly to post the World Masters standard in only her second match.

Alice Smales recovered from hurting her elbow on a 53kg snatch to complete a total and show great character. Millie Goldspink, who was recently invited on the National Regional Youth squad, posted PBs to qualify for the British U20 Championship while Ruta Lendraitene, world bench press champion, smashed the British Masters clean and jerk record with 96kg and qualified for the World Masters too.

The final group saw some outstanding lifting by the men with Danny MacFarlane and Scott Towell both qualifying to lift in the English Masters in November.

Torin Longstaff made got all his attempts to get personal bests and a huge 199kg total. Sean Glover, a former English senior champion, in his first match back, smashed a 114kg clean and jerk to qualify for the European Masters.

Millie Goldspink with a successful lift. Picture: Max Wailes

Millie Goldspink with a successful lift. Picture: Max Wailes

Brad Eccles smashed the British U20 61kg clean and jerk record, posting 101kg and he is within 5kg of the English senior mark already.

The event was a massive success thanks to the work Si Longstaff put in to fund and run it. Thanks also to Lee Eccles, Scott Towell and Sarah Eccles for the preparation of the platform and the venue with Si as the event would not have been staged without them.

Thanks to the Ambience, which proved a brilliant venue.

The coaching team Sarah Eccles, Alice Smales, Brad Eccles and Martyn Riley worked hard on the day as did loaders Curtis Dixon, Lee Eccles, Scott Towell Brad Eccles and Si Longstaff.

Thanks also to the spectators and people that contributed to the raffle and bought tickets to help support Michelle Grainger in raising funds to support the Pontefract Hospice.

If anyone wishes to try weightlifting at Body Design FIT Pontefract, they run sessions Tuesdays, Thursdays 4.30-6pm and 6-7pm and Saturdays 10am-1pm with qualified British weightlifting coaches Sarah Eccles, Alice Smales and Martyn Riley. Anyone interested in trying these sessions, or any of the other courses at the gym, feel free to drop in or email info@bodydesign121.com or ring 01977 277370. The club is also contactable on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Scott Towell gets the bar up above his head. Picture: Max Wailes

Scott Towell gets the bar up above his head. Picture: Max Wailes

Brad Eccles addresses the bar in the weightlifting event at the Ambience, Pontefract. Picture: Max Wailes

Brad Eccles addresses the bar in the weightlifting event at the Ambience, Pontefract. Picture: Max Wailes