West Norfolk teenager smashes record on her way to World Championships

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A record-breaking powerlifter from West Norfolk has qualified for the World Championships in Holland next month.Alysia Hawes, 17, is off to Amsterdam after taking her national qualifier at Horncastle by storm.The Magdalen teenager set a new world record in the bench press on her way to three titles in squat, deadlift and bench.Competing in the teen group bodyweight category for the BDFPA Federation, Hawes lifted 115kg in the squat and followed it up with 85kg in the bench press and 140kg in the deadlift.Hawes, who only took up lifting a few months ago, said: “After quitting elite gymnastics I found a love for the gym and kept hearing about powerlifting.“People complimented me about how strong I was, which made me think I should train for powerlifting.”It’s a huge achievement for me to qualify for the World Championships and something I never thought would happen.”It feels great. Squatting is not my favourite thing to do and I still put 115kg out, which was a 5kg personal record.”The bench press is my favourite and strongest event and deadlift is my second favourite.“To lift 140kg was such a good feeling as I had never done this in the gym before. I was so happy when it went up and I saw the three white lights.”The teenager’s world record came in the bench, where she smashed the previous record by 10kg and came very close to lifting 87.5kg with her fourth and final attempt.Hawes trains at Heros Gym, in Lynn, and works at Alive Downham Leisure as a lifeguard and swimming teacher.The youngster also attends Cambridge College, where she is studying Level 3 sports and coaching.”I’m at college three days a week, so the two days I’m off I usually train around work and also at the weekend. If I can, I usually try to train four or five days a week,” she said.”My mum, dad, grandad and family have supported me in everything I do, and I’ve also received endless support from everyone at the gym.”After competing at the world’s, I’ll keep training and see where it takes me.”And her message to any other youngsters considering taking up the sport is: “If you are considering powerlifting, just go for it.”It’s something different and people admire your hard work, determination and strength. Like myself, who knows where It could take you.”

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