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Champ Connor Is A Record-Breaker
Monday 11th January 2016 @ 15:21 by Mark Phillip
Sports

A Tameside powerlifter is currently celebrating after breaking British records for the deadlift and benchpress event.

17-year-old Connor Burkhill was selected to represent England at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships in Vancouver, Canada.

The event took place at the Olympic Oval in Richmond BC at the beginning of December.

Prior to the competition, Connor was the proud holder of the Under 18 British bench press record, which stood at 105.5kg at 66kg body weight.

However, the youngster surpassed that achievement by setting a new record lift of 112.5kg.

In addition to this, Connor also managed to write his name into powerlifting folklore.

The New Charter sixth form student totalled a weight of 452.5kg in the deadlift event, thus returning to England with another British record.

Speaking to Reporter Sport ahead of his trip, Connor said: “I took an interest in powerlifting after seeing some very strong people in my gym, which includes world champions in all kinds of strength sports.”

Although he qualifies for the top bracket in Britain, the teenager maintained that he was genuinely shocked to be selected to represent his country. “I was told that I’d be representing England a few months ago, and although I was really happy, I was really surprised at the same time” he said.

Connor admitted that his achievements were the product of months of hard work. “I’m extremely proud of what I’ve achieved” he said.

“A lot of hard work and endeavour was put into training ahead of the competition, so to put it altogether on the day and come out with a result like that – especially when you consider that it was my first international competition – is truly rewarding.”

Whilst the competition was very much his priority whilst staying in Canada, Connor also spared some time to enjoy some sightseeing. He added: “My time in Canada was amazing! I did some sight-seeing around Vancouver and toured the Olympic Oval.”

Built in 2010 for the Winter Olympics, the venue is an indoor multi-sports arena which includes two ice-rinks, two running tracks, a climbing wall, a rowing tank and a flexible area.

The majority of the trip to Canada was financed by his college and New Charter Housing Trust. Connor had nothing but praise for the benefactors who made it possible. He said: “New Charter Academy funded the flights and hotel for my entire trip!

“It also wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of the North West Division in the GBPF, and the people of Olympic Gym.”

Despite returning to England during the festive period, Connor endeavours to maintain his fitness and strength throughout the winter holidays. He concluded: “I’ll be taking Christmas day and Boxing day off, and I don’t intend to compete until mid/late 2016.

“The main focus for now is gaining weight in order to be more competitive at a heavier class.”