THERE was another strong showing, literally, from Strength Academy Wales (SAW) members last weekend at the British Under 20s Weightlifting Championships in Castleford.

The event had so many entries it ran over two days, and SAW fielded six athletes, the highest number from any one club, all of whom had previously made the qualification standard.

Coached by Simon Roach, Justin Head and Jim Horner - Niamh Roach and Louis Thomas both notched personal bests on day one.

Niamh took fourth place and Louis fifth in their respective weight categories, with both having further years left at Under 20s level.

Niamh recorded a 55kg Snatch and 58kg Clean and Jerk, and Louis an 84kg Snatch and 110kg Clean and Jerk.

Daisy Melhuish, a new member to SAW, also competed but unfortunately failed three attempts at the Snatch and was forced to withdraw from the event. 

The second day saw James Hart put in a great performance, taking fifth with a 100kg Snatch and 115kg Clean and Jerk. James was by far the youngest in his weight category, and still has three years left at this level.

Following James, Chloe Hood stormed the competitive stage with two new personal bests.

It proved a close and exciting division, with the top four athletes all finishing the Snatch having lifted 66kg.

Chloe then produced a Clean and Jerk of 81kg, which secured a silver medal.

The final Pembrokeshire lifter, Anita Madan, was also in the medals, performing a 67kg Snatch and 77kg Clean and Jerk to win bronze in her weight category.

"It was an extremely exciting competition with great performances from the Pembrokeshire team,” said Simon.

“Their technique, levels of strength and efforts were outstanding, and they showed fantastic sportsmanship and composure on the platform.

“Most of the lifters still have a number of years left in this age group, but still stood their ground and were very competitive.”

Simon said he was fortunate to be supported by Pembrokeshire coaches Justin Head and Jim Horner, whose experience benefitted the lifters, along with Darren Rogers from Camrose - an international weightlifting technical official.

Since the event, the club has been informed by weightlifting’s National Governing that all six SAW members have been selected for the next International event in Edinburgh this month.

Furthermore, Justin Head has been selected as team manager, and both Darren Rogers and Stephen Donovan, the leading technical officials for Wales, have been chosen to referee at the Celtic Nations event.