A Wearside Royal Navy submariner powered his way to success as he showed his strength in an international event.
Wesley McGuinness, Leading Chef of HMS Trenchant, is celebrating after achieving a podium position at the World Drug-Free Powerlifting Championships in Sicily, Italy.
Mr McGuinness, originally from Millfield but now based in Plymouth, came third in the 82.5kg category.
He was competing alongside powerlifters from 18 different countries, with a competitive field of 16 in his category.
A 217.5kg squat, 152.5kg bench press and 240kg deadlift were enough to secure him a medal, and he was delighted with his combined total of 610kg at his first world event.
The 26-year-old said: “I’m extremely happy with how I did.
I went there with a goal to hit top three, and I achieved that so I was over the moonWesley McGuinness
“I built up for the event throughout the year and had to qualify through a few different competitions first.
“I went there with a goal to hit top three, and I achieved that so I was over the moon.
“Anything more than that would have just been a bonus.”
Mr McGuinness joined the Royal Navy in 2008, and has been taking powerlifting seriously since 2013, when he returned from an 11-month deployment at sea.
This year has been an extremely busy one for him, as he first qualified for two British Championships, securing a second and third place respectively to qualify for the world event.
The world single lifts took place at Telford in June, and after training for eight weeks, he secured first place with 217.5kg, setting a new British single squat record in the process. The next day, he achieved a 155kg bench press, just short of nearly double his body weight, placing him second.
That all set him up for the championships in Sicily, and the father-of-one is now preparing for a qualifier for next year’s British Championships.
He added: “I’d like to thank the Royal Navy Sports Lottery, the Royal Navy Powerlifting Association and HMS Trenchant for their funding and support, as well as Force Future Charitable Foundation for funding my training attire and kit, and my sponsor Plymouth Supplements for my supplementary requirements.
“Training plays a huge part in my achievements but without support from friends and family, I wouldn’t have achieved anywhere near what I have, and I’d like to thank them all.
Wesley is currently taking time out from training to spend some quality time with his wife Harriet and his 9 month old daughter Neive.
He will begin after the new year to prepare for next year’s events.