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Powerlifting British champions: made in Frome!

Mark Bentley & Chris Pike

Mark Bentley & Chris Pike

TWO powerlifters from Train Station Gym in Frome are celebrating after  both were crowned  British Powerlifting Champions.

Mark Bentley, who owns the Train Station Gym, came first in his category at this year’s British Championship held in Folkestone and Chris Pike, who attends the gym also took gold in the bench press category.

Both went into the event high in confidence having qualified with relative ease. The British Powerlifting Union competition is split into squat, bench press, and deadlift events, and each competitor had to lift  435kg across the three to qualify. Both smashed through qualifying with ease and were among the favourites for glory.

Chris Pike, 30, competed in the 82.5kg bench press category and despite going into the event with an injury, managed to take gold as he bench pressed 155kg which was down on his best of 162.5kg. He also holds the British bench press record for his weight class.

Chris said, “I am really pleased as I didn’t go into the event in the best shape due to an arm injury but I knew I was the number one seed and that I had enough in me to win the event. I was confident that the other guys couldn’t match me if I performed.

“I was hoping to bench around 180kg but decided to start at 155kg as almost a warm-up effort and to get a score on the board and managed to do so. But I never knew my injury was as bad as it was and I couldn’t manage any more, which is a bit disappointing as I can do more, but thankfully it was enough to take gold.

“From here I now believe I get an invite to the World Championships in November which are due to be held in Palm Beach, Florida. It would be an amazing experience to compete in that event, but I think my injury might stop me. I don’t know how the guys from around the world compare to what I am capable of, so it would be nice to test myself on the world stage.”

Mark, 47, competes in the 45-49 year old <90kg category. He smashed his way through qualifying by lifting 570kg and then went on to be crowned British champion.

Train Station Gym is on Station Approach in Frome, and was built as an addition to Mark’s Glastonbury site in 2002.