John’s pride at medal haul

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BURNLEY strongman John Walsh experienced mixed emotions after representing England at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships.

The 38-year-old powered his way to respective bronze and silver medals in the esteemed competition despite falling short of his personal bests.

The former body builder cemented third place in the three principles of squat, bench press and deadlifting events at Bournemouth University before going one better the following day in a gruelling bench-only heat.

John, who has entered six competitions in the last 12 months, said: “Trying to peak for each competition has been tough. I think I’ve just done too many and burnt myself out. If I’d have been in form I would’ve won gold on both days but that’s the nature of the beast when it comes to Strongman.”

He added: “I’m a bit annoyed knowing that if I’d have been close to my best I’d have taken gold. But I’ve represented my country, competed at Commonwealth level, and brought back medals. I’m extremely proud.”

The weight-lifting enthusiast scooped the British Bench Press title with an incredible 170kg one-rep maximum attempt in the senior men’s 105kg class at Colne Muni. The former body builder then was runner-up in the British Unequipped Powerlifting finals in Northumberland.

But now he plans to take a year out of competing in a bid to hit his physical peak for 2013. “My aspirations now are to get a good 12 months of training in and then qualify for the British Championships. Hopefully then I can gain selection for the Commonwealth team for Wales 2013.”

John, sponsored by the Fitness Factory and Total Nutrition, is now determined to top his personal best lifts - 290kg deadlift, 240kg squat and 178kg bench press.