More power to you Gerry!

PORTBALLINTRAE power-lifter Gerry McAfee, who operates out of Sammy Graham’s Ballymoney Gym, has set a new Irish Senior Record.

The 56-year-old strongman was competing at the Irish Open Powerlifting Championships in Dublin which involved competitors from Ireland and Britain, some of them World Champions and World Record holders.

Gerry was competing after being out of action for several months after injuries sustained last year.

He told Times Sport: “I entered this competition hoping just to have an attempt at the Masters 4 World Deadlift Record. Masters 4 is the category for lifters between the ages of 55 to 60 and the 342.5kg world record is a particularly high record in this age group as it is held by a prolific deadlifter who holds multiple titles at different age and weight categories.

“Over the 14 weeks training for the competition I still had some trouble with a recurring back problem but was lifting pretty well although I think I just hadn’t got back to where I was last year.

“At the competition I took a second lift of 330kg. This lift was heavier than it should have been as I lifted it in training twelve days earlier and it was fairly easy. I knew 342.5kg wasn’t there on the day and passed on my last attempt

“My best ever deadlift before this was done in competition and not the gym but it doesn’t always work out like that but I was still happy to set a new Irish Senior Record at 330kg.

“That is the heaviest lift ever done by a 100kilo lifter at any age in Ireland and Ireland has had a few World Senior Champions in this class, the most recent only two years ago, so to be up with the likes of these younger men at the age of 56 has to be next best to that Masters World Record,” said Gerry.

Gerry would like to thank Sammy Graham’s gym and his former gym run by Ronnie McFadden.