Teen powers to fourth world lifting title

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Powerlifter Alex Hughes with Dad and coach, Simon. Pic © Simon Hughes.

Powerlifter Alex Hughes with Dad and coach, Simon. Pic © Simon Hughes.

A Merseyside teenager has risen to prominence again after collecting his fourth world powerlifting title.

Alex Hughes claimed gold in the 100kg bodyweight division at the World Drug Free Powerlifting Championships in Sicily last weekend.

The 19-year-old from Stoneycroft broke his own previous record of being the only teenager to hold three world titles and he has many plans to push that further.

Alex told JMU Journalism: “I have my sights set on another world title, but you never know in this sport – or any sport for that matter. I always have a goal in mind during training. I need to have something to work towards.

“I can relax for a while now but I do plan to return in 2017, hopefully stronger than ever before.”

Hughes took up the sport at the age of 13 after watching recordings of his father and grandfather competing.

His father Simon started coaching him and they began to enter competitions. Alex won his first gold medal at the world championships in the 14 to 15- year-old division in 2012.

By the age of 15, Alex had participated in six major powerlifting events and remained unbeaten until the Boston World Championships in 2012.

He feared he might have to pull out of this weekend’s competition after tearing a ligament in his upper back in an attempt to carry a suitcase in a rush.

Despite some heavy bruising, Alex went on to record five personal best lifts and beat his previous record by 17.kg with a 31-stone lift.

His proud dad Simon said: “I have coached many lifters over the years and Alex rarely falters. Unless a lift is too heavy he never loses his technique.”

Alex is a member of the British Drug Free Powerlifting Association and is hoping to promote the sport to other youngsters who are interested in getting involved.

The sport is popular with both men and women in nearly 80 countries. Powerlifting has been a Paralympic sport since 1984 and is a world games sport under the International Powerlifting Federation.

About Jenny Kirkham, JMU Journalism