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Fiachra powers to world junior crown

A YOUNG Strabane man has muscled his way to success at the recent World Powerlifting Championships in Germany.

Fiachra O Raghallaigh (23), took the U23 junior title at the WDFPF (World Drug-Free Powerlifting Federation) gathering at Halle and such was his tenacity and strength he also achieved fourth place overall.

Although Fiachra admits himself that he has a long way to go before he can compete with the top senior powerlifters, he’s determined to break into the top echelons of the sport.

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“I qualified by winning the Irish equivalent back in August,” the local strong man explained. “Overall, I’m very happy with my improvements.”

Fiachra achieved his junior title by squatting 210kgs, deadlifting 240kgs and beach-pressing 150kgs. But he knows he can do better.

“With the deadlift, if I’d been allowed straps I could have done more. I’m hoping to be able to lift more – 260kgs maybe – come February at the next Ireland event in Dublin.

“I failed 150kgs in the bench press – that would be my least favourite. And I wanted to go for more in the squat.”
What makes Fiachra’s achievement all the more impressive is that he took the world crown without a recognised coach.

“I don’t have a coach,” he smiled. “I train mostly in the Hurt Locker in Strabane and also in Raphoe.

“Over the next few years I would like to do the biggest ever drug-tested lift in Ireland – and now that I’ve said it, I’m gonna have to do it!”

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