Fermoy’s John Rice defended his equipped deadlift title once again at the World Championships of the World Drug-Free Powerlifting Federation held in Wales at the weekend, while also picking up a silver medal in the unequipped deadlift category.

Having claimed gold in both categories last year, the 68-year-old was seen as one of the favourites to come out on top once again this time round.

At the Glyndŵr University in Wrexham, John lifted 200kg in the equipped category to claim gold, although he was beaten by an American in the unequipped category, having lifted 190kg.

“I was carrying a bit of an injury into it,” he told The Avondhu. “I hurt myself throwing the hammers in England about six weeks ago. The competitions are too close together really, you don’t have enough time to train between each one. I’d have done 212.5 (equipped) in that before but there’s no way I’d have gotten near that this time. You really need three months to get fully going before a competition,” John explained.

Next up for John is the European Championships, which will be held in July.