National pride for Burnley strongman

John Walsh
John Walsh

A BURNLEY strongman has been selected to represent England in the imminent Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships.

John Walsh (38) will compete in squat, bench press and deadlifting events at Bournemouth University over the weekend looking to continue his spectacular progress.

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 recorded a runner-up finish in the British Unequipped Powerlifting finals in Northumberland.

But the big test starts here for John, who was selected to compete in the esteemed competition by Fred Sterry who represents the nations commonwealth selection committee. Success in this tournament, among 300 competitors, should boost John on to the world stage.

“Everyone involved in a sport wants to be selected to represent their country,” he said. “It’s great that my progress has been recognised as well which makes it even better. Even if this is just a one off it’s still an honour to represent England.”

He added: “It’s a bit daunting to be fair because I’ve only had six weeks to prepare for it. I’m just going to do what I can. I’m up against the best from other countries so I’m proud to be doing that.

“If I do well then I don’t see why I can’t make the World Championships. It all depends on how I fare in this competition but it would be a dream to get selected for Great Britain and compete on the world stage.”

John, who takes his four-year-old son Lucca to all competitions for support, is a member at Fitness Factory in Burnley along with training partner Sean Routh. He is sponsored by the Blannel Street gym as well as Total Nutrition. John’s current personal bests stand at 290kg deadlift, 240kg squat and 178kg bench press.