Melton weightlifter Jason Talbot rolled back the years to claim his first British powerlifting title in 15 years last weekend.
Talbot travelled over to Lincolnshire to compete for national titles over two fronts at Stanhope Hall, in Horncastle.
All three powerlift competitions were scheduled for Saturday, with the British Benchpress Championships to follow on Sunday.
But with an unexpected level of entries, two of the men’s powerlifting weight classes were moved to the Sunday, leaving Talbot the added challenge of competing twice on the same day.
First up came the powerlifting where the Melton strongman lined up in the 93kg bodyweight masters (over 50s) class, alongside the defending champion and another rival who had finished fifth at last year’s world championships.
“I knew it would be a good battle.
In the opening squat partnership, Talbot had three good attempts, following a solid 205kg with 215kg, and then finishing with a comeback-best lift of 222.5kg to trail the lead lifter by 22.5kg.
Talbot had three further good lifts in the benchpress, with successful lifts at 185kg, 192.5kg and 197.5kg.
He said: “Before the competition I had high hopes of breaking the British record of 205kg, but the competition was so tight I just had to make 100 per cent sure not to fail any lifts.
Superior pressing power had given him a crucial 27.5kg lead going into the deadlift finale.
“This was important as my two main rivals were better at the final discipline,” Talbot added.
“And I was pretty tired at this stage after a very early start and a bit of a struggle to make the 93kg weight limit.
“But I was determined to give it my all and go for the win.”
The first two pulls - at 200kg and 220kg – both brought three white lights and no problems.
“My third pull of 225kg was a success, but a very hard lift to give me a total of 645kg.
“This meant my closest rival needed to pull 252.5kg to take the gold away from me.”
Keith Blacknell made a valiant attempt as the bar left the ground fast, but the lift stalled just below the knee and the weights crashed down,” making Talbot a British powerlifting champion for the first time since 2004.
“It was pretty tough getting myself motivated to participate in the benchpress competition, and sadly I was on my own in the age and weight class.
“I opened on 175kg, failed 200kg on a technicality, but then took 200kg again for a good lift to ‘win’ my fifth British benchpress title.”