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Council caretaker wins gold at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships

A Craven District Council caretaker is celebrating after winning gold for Great Britain at the 2015 Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships in Canada.

Simon Newton winner

Simon Newton, 31, from Embsay, lifted 147.5kg - almost half his body weight - to win his bench press class (74kg) in December.

Simon said: "I want to say thanks to everyone for all their support and well wishes - I couldn't have done it without you!"

The Skipton Town Hall caretaker had to overcome difficulties during the event when his bar was wrongly loaded twice - meaning he had to bench press a total of five times.

"Luckily I managed to get a lift in which eventually won. Thanks again for all the support!" said Simon.

Earlier this year Simon became the English bench press champion - breaking the national record at the same time.

He only started competing in bench pressing in May last year - he won his first competition and decided to keep going.

He won the EPA English Bench Press Championships in Lincolnshire on July 12 this year, breaking the English record in the 74kg weight class, a record that has stood since 2011, with a winning bench press of 143kg.

What is bench pressing?

  • The bench press is an upper body strength training exercise.
  • The athlete lies on his/her back on a bench and presses a weight upwards.
  • They push the weight upwards until their arms are extended, but do not allow the elbows to lock, and then lower the weight to chest level.
  • The barbell bench press is one of three lifts in the sport of powerlifting - the others are the squat and the deadlift.
  • Athletes compete in weight categories, like boxers. 
  • The world record bench press without a bench shirt is 327.5 kg (722 lb), set by Eric Spoto (USA) in May 2013.