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Lowestoft's pensioner champ

PUBLISHED: 10:26 16 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:41 06 July 2010

THE Lowestoft area has a new world champion - who has lifted the title at 80 years of age.

George Leggett is fitter than most men half his age, and in the powerlifting world championships, held in the Czech Republic, he added the world crown to his impressive list of titles.

THE Lowestoft area has a new world champion - who has lifted the title at 80 years of age.

George Leggett is fitter than most men half his age, and in the powerlifting world championships, held in the Czech Republic, he added the world crown to his impressive list of titles.

For his age group Mr Leggett, of Lowestoft Road, Carlton Colville, is now the British, Commonwealth, European and World Champion powerlifter.

To reach this remarkable milestone Mr Leggett lifted a massive total of 432kg (68 stone) in the sport's three disciplines - squat, bench press and dead lift.

“I am pleased to have all the titles and I have had such an enjoyable career in the sport for many years,” said Mr Leggett, a former prison officer who trains at the gym at Blundeston Prison.

“I would like to thank the prison officials for all the help they have given me. The facilities at the gym are first class and certainly help with my training,” he said.

Mr Leggett is not only a first-class competitor he is also a fully qualified national coach and referee.

He has passed on his knowledge to many of the inmates at Blundeston over the years.

“I enjoy encouraging other people to take up the sport that has given me so much pleasure. There is a lot of interest in powerlifting among the inmates and I am pleased to say that some have continued to compete in the sport to a high standard after they have been released,” said Mr Leggett.

To reach the top in his sport Mr Leggett has had the support of his wife Muriel.

“My wife has been superb in helping me. She not only accompanies me to the competitions all over the world but makes sure that I have the correct preparation and diet,” said Mr Leggett.

It was only by accident that Mr Leggett took up powerlifting.

“I was living in London and joined a rowing club. A lot of the training involved lifting weights in a gym and I discovered that I was better at lifting than rowing.

“I started competing seriously in 1945 at the end of the second world war and a few months later won my first competition. I have been competing on a regular basis ever since,” he said.

Mr Leggett is modest about his achievements and hopes his success will encourage other pensioners to compete in sport.

Although he began competing while living and working in London Mr Leggett has been able to continue with his sport since moving to the Lowestoft area in 1987.

“Powerlifting is a great sport and I would encourage anyone to take part as I would like to see it become even more popular,” he said.

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