Record-breaking South Shields powerlifter wins gold medal in his Team GB debut
South Tyneside strongman Dylan Nelson has carried the weight of the world on his shoulders to land his first international powerlifting title.
Dylan, 22, of Salisbury Place, South Shields, rose to the challenge to claim a new European all-age squat record and win gold on his Team GB debut.
He lifted a staggering 287.5kg while competing at under-23 level of this month’s World Championships in Helsingborg, Sweden.
The 5ft 7in-tall powerhouse, who competes in the 83kg category, now has his sights set on smashing both junior and open – or adult - world records.
His chance will come at the European Championships in Lithuania in November, where he will again represent Team GB.
The contracting rigger erector is targeting powering past the global 298kg junior record and the 313kg any-age benchmark.
Dylan, a former Whitburn Academy pupil who began weightlifting when he left school at 16, said: “I love the feeling of getting stronger and stronger.
“My first competition was about four years ago in Leeds where I lifted 210kg, and it’s gone on from there.
“But it’s not just about strength and what you can lift, it’s very much also about technique to ensure you are doing it right and not picking up injuries. Proper form is important.
“You have to think strategically when competing, it is no good picking too heavy a weight and then failing to lift it and losing the competition.
“I won gold in the squat in my first international tournament and now my goal is the junior and the open world records.”
Dylan, who currently holds the British record, at 290.5kg, trains for three-and-a-half-hours a day, six-days-a-week, at the specialist Parkhead Powersports gym in Ashington, Northumberland.
To reach his full potential, he is aiming to improve on his bench and deadlift ability, the two other powerlifting specialisms.
In a day, he consumes around 4,500 calories – the recommended male adult intake is 2,500 – which he splits into six servings.