A STRABANE weightlifting powerhouse has been crowned Europe’s Strongest Man (under 80kgs).
Mark Burke, who trains out of Peak Performance in Strabane scooped the title following a one-day event in Lisburn recently.
Mark, who works as a manager for Nicor, followed up his earlier success during the summer when he clinched the Ireland’s Strongest Man title (under 80kg).
However, not resting on his laurels, Mark will compete for the world title in North Carolina next month.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet, to be honest,” Mark admitted.
“Going for the European competition was a last minute thing. I have been training for the world in North Carolina but I thought, since it’s in Lisburn I’d give it a go. I’m glad I did.
“I’ve won a few things before but Ireland’s Strongest Man in June was my first national title.
“I only started training about three and a half years ago. At my first novice competition I finished second and that give me the bug.”
Mark, who also previously scooped a Donegal’s Strongest Man title, says his sights are now firmly set on North Carolina and the World’s Strongest Man contest. However, the local man also admitted, it may be his last competition.
“This was my first time competing at that level but you always want to go into competitions, thinking you’re going to do well,” he said. “One of the events was how many times you could lift a Ford Focus in 60 seconds.
“Definitely, winning the title gives me more confidence going into the worlds.
“Training’s going well. I’m training nearly seven days a week at the minute.”
He added, “If I do well in North Carolina that might be me done; it could be my last competition.
“But we’ll see.”