A Lewis powerlifter’s success at the Scottish Bench Press Championships saw him presented with the overall ‘Best Male Lifter’ Trophy.
Martin Flett also won his weight class (105kg) at the Championships in Glasgow recently, adding another trophy to his silverware cabinet.
“I had been preparing for this competition for the last three months and was all set for a battle with the reigning Scottish record holder,” Martin said.
“However, he had competed in the British Masters Powelifting Championships three weeks earlier and decided not to enter – instead he was refereeing me!
“It’s a great feeling to be the Scottish Champion – not just in my age group, but overall, and winning the Best Lifter award was beyond my wildest dreams as I travelled down. I don’t think a 58 year old has ever won it before.”
It could have gone very differently for the Lewis powerhouse however, as only the prompt action of the competition ‘spotters’ saved over 28 stone falling into Martin when his shirt pulled the weight bar off line on his 190kg lift.
His second 190kg lift went off without a hitch, winning Martin the competition; but not satisfied, he decided to go for the Scottish M2 (Over 50) record with his third attempt.
“I narrowly missed it,” he explained. “I got within two to three inches of locking it out but just couldn’t finish it off. It was very frustrating as not only would 203 have taken the record, it would have also been a personal best.”
He continued: “I was probably in 200 shape, but 200 wouldn’t have given me anything that 190 hadn’t so it would have been a pointless lift. And, if I’d got it, I would always wondered if I’d have got the 203. Better to know, and to try!”
The Scottish event marked the end of a hectic six month powerlifting period for Martin.
In November he travelled to Stavanger, Norway, to officiate at the 2013 World Championships where he acted as MC for the entire Championship which were hailed as the best ever after over 20 world records were broken.
Martin recalled: “That was a quite fabulous experience. I’ve always considered myself a lifted first and an official a very poor second, but that was a very special experience, one of the ones that stay with you for the rest of your life and it’s something that I’d love to do again in the future.”
In January 2014, Martin travelled to Lincolnshire to compete in the British Bench Press Championships, lifting a very creditable 192.5kg to finish runner up to Marco Demeis in the Over 50 category.
“Marco has been the British Champion in the next weight class up for the last five years,” Martin expanded. “He came down a weight class and his personal best is 26kg more than mine, so I needed him to have a bad day if I was to win – but he didn’t.”
With the flurry of competition over until September, Martin is easing-up on training until mid-July as he added: “I’ve been training flat out since October and my body is crying out for a rest.”
But he is not alone in training as there are now around eight regulars who train with him, a number of whom plan to start competing next year.
“Some of the guys’ progress has been phenomenal,” said Martin. “We’re always happy to welcome new lifters who are committed to competing.
“Most don’t last more than five or six weeks, they find the training just too intense; but if there are any ‘rough diamonds’ out there, we’re always happy to welcome them to the training group.”