14th March 2002
Strong man Andy Jones never set foot in a gym until 1998 – but three years later he’d been crowned as a world champion drug-free powerlifter.
Andy (20), who studies at the Hull School of Art & Design, is the current British and World Champion of the World Drug Free Powerlifting Association.
And he’s training hard at the YPI on George Street to defend his British Championship title in Letchworth next month.
Drug free powerlifters are amateur sportsmen who compete in three weightlifting disciplines - the squat, the bench press and the deadlift.
Andy, who comes from Stoke-on-Trent, only discovered the sport after he tried a trip to the gym while on holiday in Spain.
“We were on holiday to Ibiza in 1998 and we decided to go to the gym to try to get fit,” he recalls. “My friend had to drag me along as I didn’t really want to go, but when I was there I really enjoyed it and I carried on going after we came back from Spain.
“While I was training in the gym at home I was approached by Mark Quinn, a former world champion who’s now my coach, who told me to have a go at powerlifting.”
Lifting in the 75kg class (lightweight category), Andy suffered two hamstring injuries and was unable to compete in the first two competitions he entered.
But he wrote to the authorities and persuaded them to allow him to compete in the 2000 British Championships – and in that competition he won the title for the bench press lift, the squat and the deadlift.
Last year he won the British Overall Champion and World Champion titles, and last month he added the Scottish Open Championship title to his growing list of honours.
“It’s quite an achievement and I’ve surprised myself,” said Andy, who won his world title in Birmingham last year. “But they say you haven’t won a world championship unless you’ve won in the United States or in Russia because the conditions are worse and the competitors are better.”
Now Andy is treating the British Championships in Letchworth on 7th April as a stepping stone to next year’s World Championships which will be hosted by Russia.
For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager
University of Lincoln (tel: 01522 886042)