Strongmen ready to take on the world

FOUR strongmen who train at the same gym are preparing to take on the world's best weightlifters at a championship in the United States.

Andy Bolton, Patrick Griffin and Graham Mattison, from Leeds, and Neil Deighton, from east Hull, have just a few weeks to get themselves in top shape for the World Powerlifting Championships which begin on November 20.

It will be Andy Bolton's sixth time at the event but the other three are going for the first time. Bolton, who holds several world records and can deadlift over 1,000lbs, said: "The lads are excited and nervous. They don't know what to expect."

He said: "I compete in the super heavyweight class. Graham is in the 125kg class and is hoping to break the British bench press record in his weight class.

"Pat is in the 90kg class and was second in this year's British Championships."

But, he says, the one to watch is Neil Deighton, 22, a junior competitor in the bench press in the 90kg class.

"He is the junior world record holder in the bench press – 286kg. He is very strong and has gone from strength to strength. He lives in Hull and travels 90 miles three times a week to train with us.

"He is a star of the future, he stands out. For someone so young to lift what he's lifting is outstanding."

The four train at Ralls Gym in Burmantofts, Leeds.