Power To The People
Thursday 16th June 2016 @ 10:45 by Mark Phillip

Two Tameside powerlifters are celebrating fantastic results at the GPC European Championships.

Rob Hopkinson and Jimmy Young have both returned from the prestigious competition which was held in Finland earlier this month.

Rob claimed first place in the 100kg junior category, while Jimmy placed 2nd in his own category.

The former Audenshaw School pupils have competed in numerous competitions in previous years, including last November’s British Championships.

Jimmy reflected on what turned out to be his last competition as a junior. He told Reporter Sport: “I would say the competition ran very efficiently on the day.

“There were three flights of lifting on our specific day: 82.5kg, 90kg and 100kg.

“I hit a 230kg squat, a 155kg bench, and a 270kg deadlift.

“It brought my overall total to 655kg.”

Questioned on whether he exceeded his own expectations, Jimmy replied: “My previous best competition total at the last Europeans was 645kg.

“I beat that with a 655kg total, so I’m really happy but always hungry for more.”

Having lifted a total of 685kg, Rob returns from Finland as European Champion.

Yet despite this achievement, the 22-year-old is suffering from mixed feelings. He explained: “On the whole the competition went really well for me.

“I squatted a personal best of 265kg, and then benched a competition pb of 170kg.

“I’ve been carrying a shoulder injury for some time now, so the bench result came as a real shock!”

Buoyed by a real sense of confidence, Rob had his sights on the big 700. He continued: “At this point I was about 30kg ahead of 2nd place.

“In a bid to ensure I got the win, I decided to put my deadlift opener down to 250kg.

“I hit that easy enough which gave me a pb total of 685kg, so from there I just decided to jump 15kg to 700kg.

“I managed to lift the weight, but unfortunately had it failed on a technicality.

“It was a bittersweet ending to the day, but overall I’m very happy.”

When they weren’t competing, Rob and Jimmy spent some time sightseeing with their girlfriends.

That’s not to say Jimmy wasn’t focused on his duties though. He added: “You become so focused on the competition that you actually get side-tracked from your surroundings.

“However, it’s a very picturesque place with lots of woodland and forests to explore.”

Rob also appreciated the scenery, even hinting at a possible return. “I really enjoyed it” he said.

“It was very scenic with trees and lakes and the whole place felt clean and fresh.

“I found the people friendly and would definitely go again.”

Although the pair have only just finished competing in Finland, they are very much focused on their next mission – The British Championships in October!

With this in mind, Jimmy and Rob are set to continue with their vigorous training schedule. Rob said: “My goal is to be great.

“I want to be the best version of myself and get my total as high as possible.

“As long as it’s still going up, I’ll keep training – it’s like an obsession!”

Jimmy echoed his training partners thoughts. “I want to see how far I can push my body until it won’t get any stronger” he said.