Fleetwood powerlifter Rachel Normington takes European championship title and world record
Fleetwood powerlifting sensation Rachel Normington is now a European champion and official world record holder.
The 30-year-old hospital nurse triumphed in the under-90kg category at the WPC European Championships in Manchester.
Competing in the deadlift, Rachel opened with a lift of 175kg and topped that with a new world benchmark of 187.5kg.
The new champion still wanted more, telling The Gazette: “I went for 195kg and made the lift, but I did black out and didn’t see the referee’s ‘down’ command. As a result it was recorded as a ‘no lift’ but in my eyes I did make it.”
Rachel is British champion in the ‘squat’ too, having set a British record in that discipline last December, but she decided to focus on the deadlift at the Europeans after understandable difficulties accessing training facilities during lockdown.
The decision paid off as Rachel explains: “Besides the European title, I also won the trophy for best lifter of the day.
“The trophy is a dagger, which is beautiful but I was dreading being stopped by the police on the way home!
“I’m very pleased with what I’ve achieved, especially as I work 50 hours a week, so haven’t had very much time to train even when we weren’t in lockdown.”
Given the absence of Fylde coast Olympians this year, a question regularly put to Rachel lately is: ‘Why weren’t you in Tokyo?’
The answer is simple: “Weightlifting is an Olympic event, powerlifting is not, though it is in the Paralympics,” she explains.
“Powerlifting is purely about the lifting, whereas weightlifting is as much about technique and movement.
“I do have a dance and gymnastics background, so I could have gone into the weightlifting side but I only took this up at the age of 27, which was too late in terms of making an Olympic team.”
It means Rachel is fully focused on powerlifting and a world championship campaign in Portugal in November.
That means plenty of hard work ahead – and not just when it comes to training.
She explained: “There are 11 of us in the British team and the idea is to go as a group and share the costs.
“As a sport we are very under-funded. We have to arrange our own travel to Porto and sort out our accommodation out there.”
Any sponsorship offers would be greatly welcomed as Rachel bids to bring more glory to the Fylde coast.