A local athlete has been named one of the strongest men on the planet after winning a coveted World Powerlifting Title.
Jamie Burke from Moira, a Personal Trainer at Academy One Fitness in Belfast, defeated over 800 competitors from 46 countries around the world to win the World Powerlifting Congress (WPC) ‘Single-Ply’ 100kg Men’s Open World Championship.
The competition in Maio, Portugal tested the best powerlifters in the world over seven gruelling days across the three specific disciplines of the sport: Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift, each designed to measure different areas of human strength.
Speaking after winning the event, Jamie Burke said: “I am absolutely delighted to come out on top against so many top athletes from around world to be crowed World Champion, especially as my preparation was less than ideal.
“I injured my left leg, back, right hip and hamstring in the build up to the event and went into the championship unsure of how I would perform, so to win the title is a tremendous achievement and one that I am extremely proud of.
“My focus now is to get myself back to full fitness to qualify for next year’s World Championships and attempt to break some world records.”
Jamie, who started competing when he was at school, is aiming not only to retain his title next year, but to break several world records along the way.
“I would like to get back to full strength and join the competition circuit next year and hopefully break some world records.
“I was able to do enough to win this year, but I want to be at a record breaking level.
“There are four in total and I have a shot at all four, some might come easier than others but I am within striking distance for all of them.”
Jamie is also hoping to encourage others to get involved in powerlifting, regardless of their health.
He explained: “I’ve been diabetic since I was seven years old and I’ve just turned 30. To be competing in the Open Class and be diabetic is a challenge.
“I want to let people who have a condition know that anything is possible. Whether you have Diabetes, MS, whatever the condition, this shows that even with a condition, you can push on physically and achieve things if you are coached well.
“I am insulin dependent and competing can be a challenge. I’d like to let other people know that anything is possible.
“If anyone would like any advice or training, I am always there, people can contact me through the gym.”