Power-packed effort from record breaker

Power lifter Yiannis Verenakis in training at St Annes YMCA.
Power lifter Yiannis Verenakis in training at St Annes YMCA.
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A Fylde gym worker surged to a triple medal haul after blowing away his rivals in a national weightlifting championships.

Strongman Yiannis Verenakis, of Hodder Drive, St Annes, won three gold medals at the British Drug Free Powerlifting Association Championships on Saturday at Stafford University, Stoke.

The 21-year-old won his weight class in the squat, bench press and deadlift categories, setting a British record in the process.

Powerlifter Yiannis, who works at St Annes YMCA in St Albans Road, said: “My opener for the squat was 182.5kg, then I went for a personal best of 190kg, which I got, and then went for a massive personal best of 195kg, which is a British record.

“Just an hour later I set a new personal best for the bench press, winning with a 132.5kg lift. It was competitive in the deadlift final, with my lift of 220kg a tie with another performer. But as he was heavier, I was given the gold. It was the best I’ve performed, as I got three big PBs and a British record. I didn’t fail any lifts either, which doesn’t happen much in powerlifting.

“I want to thank my sponsors, KSM, Woodhouse Opticians, the Protein Lab and the YMCA, as well as my trainers, Graham Hicks and Andy Rigby.”

Yiannis said he now plans to travel to Germany for the World Championships in June.