SOME of the world’s top powerlifting specialists are due to appear at a spectacular event in Ballymoney next month.
The annual championships under the auspices of two of the world recognised Federations - GPC and WPC - is being organised by local man, Sammy Graham, who says this year’s event on March 26 will be the biggest and best ever.
Not only will some of the world’s elite be in attendance, but new records are being attempted in what will undoubtedly be some amazing lifting.
Andy Bolton, who ranks with the all-time greats, was in Ballymoney on Saturday to help Sammy Graham prepare for the championships which rank as Northern Ireland qualifiers for the World and European championships.
The Englishman was also at Sammuy’s gym to take part in a seminar.
Bolton, who holds the world record for the biggest deadlift at 1000 lbs, will attempt to bench press more than a staggering 800 lbs as well as breaking his deadlift record.
Another powerhouse, Gerry McNamee, from the South of Ireland, will attempt to become the first man to squat 400 kilos.
Sammy told the Times: “I am delighted that Andy Bolton has agreed to take part in the championships. He is the equivalent of the Rafael Nadal’s of this world and his reputation is awesome.
“We have the cream of the crop heading for the Joey Dunlop Centre and it will definitely be one of the best events to be held in Northern Ireland.
“BBC television are planning to cover the event and anyone coming along on the day will see some amazing lifting.”
Such was the interest in the event that two days after announcing its date and time, entries had to be closed.
“We can only accommodate 40 participants and we are there already,” Sammy told the Times.
Interest has even reached the United States with a former champion, Phil Crawford, wanting to come over to take part.
“I can honestly say that interest has been very good, but we have to limit places otherwise we simply wouldn’t have the competition finished in one day,” Sammy said.
It is planned to start the event at 8.30 a.m.on March 26 at the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre in order to get it completed in one day.