SCIENCE teacher Jim Dulling was just two sugar bags short of the perfect formula for winning a weightlifting competition.
The 61-year-old has just arrived back from the Czech Republic after winning a silver medal at the European Masters Powerlifting Championships.
The grandfather-of-two, from Durham City, just missed out on the gold in the competition in Pilsen by 2.5kgs.
Jim said: “Another two bags of sugar and the gold would have been mine.
“It came down to the very last lift of the competition and it just slipped out of my hand along with the gold medal.
“I’m still happy with my silver medal, but I will train harder and maybe one day I will become the over-60s Champion of Europe.”
Jim has been competing internationally for Team Great Britain for the last three years.
“I’m very pleased with my performance and I am most grateful for the support that I have received from the principal and governors of Whitburn Academy, and for the support and encouragement that I have received from my students.
“The students are very interested in what I’m doing and want to hear about when I have been competing.”
Jim, who is also chairman of the Yorkshire and North East Powerlifting Federation, was competing in the 105kgs over-60s category and came first in the benchpress and deadlift rounds.
He began competing about six years ago when doctors discovered he had exercise-induced asthma.
Jim had been rowing since he was 18 but, after leaving a race severely out of breath, he went to his GP and had to give up racing.
I couldn’t give up sport all together and I did weights to support my rowing.
“I was at a training session when someone from the Great British Powerlifting team popped in and told us we were good enough to compete regionally and we were all placed.
“I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep it up.”
Jim says his family are very supportive.
“My two granddaughters think it’s great. My two daughters think I should probably be walking around with a walking stick and whippet, but are proud of what I do.
“My wonderful wife Angie is very understanding with all the training I do.
“She does miss me but she understands I have to work hard if I’m to make the team.”