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Jo sets new British record
Thursday 25th January 2018 @ 09:54 by Mark Phillip

A Glossop powerlifter has added to her growing list of achievements after returning from the British Equipped Bench Press Championships with a new title.

Jo Whiteley (pictured with Tom Martin), who trains at Olympic Gym in Ashton, set a new British record after pressing 151kg in Horncastle on Sunday.

The achievement was made all the more impressive given she sustained an injury before the event.

Speaking to Reporter Sport, Jo said:“I was massively anxious ahead of the event, but that’s nothing new because I get nervous and stressed on competition day regardless.

“It was hard to get in the right frame of mind because I hadn’t been able to train due to an injury.

“I hurt my triceps tendon the first time I put a shirt back on a few weeks ago and it made it massively worse the next time I tried to wear a shirt.

“I’ve never before had to do a competition I haven’t been able to train for and that gave me the heebie jeebies. I know some people don’t train in kit and just throw it on on the day, but I’m more a practice, practice, practice type of person.

“I had to adjust or pull out completely, so taking part seemed the wiser option as it gave me a chance to better myself.”

Despite the initial scepticism, Jo did fantastically well and even surpassed her greatest expectations.

The 47-year-old pressed 135kg for her first attempt, before increasing the weight to 147.5kg for the second lift.

Jo was then forced to make a decision for her third and final lift. She said: “I had to decide whether to release the shirt a bit to get the bar down or put a bit more weight on it. I actually nearly bottled it but with seconds to go, I took advice from fellow lifter Dean Bowring and whacked 151kg on for a British record attempt.”

To her delight, Jo successfully completed the lift and wrote her name into powerlifting folklore.

The achievement means Jo now has British records in classic powerlifting and equipped bench press, and she also boasts the biggest masters bench in BP history, second overall.

Jo has since been selected for the World Championships in April, but in order for things to go smoothly, she will need to find a sponsor.

The competition is taking place in Potchefstroom, South Africa, which makes travel costs and expenses an issue. Jo explained: “We don’t get anything paid for so I have to cover flights, which come to about £500, plus transfers, accommodation, food and entry fees. It’s going to cost over £1000 once everything has been factored into the equation.”

Those wishing to sponsor Jo can contact her on the following email: [email protected]