Jones sets off for Italian job

JONATHAN REDHEAD Record-breaking teenager Hadley Jones sets off for Italy this week in a bid to become a world powerlifting champion. The teenager, from Sprowston, is currently the British and European Drug Free Powerlifting Association champion and owner of a host of world records after success in the European championships in Scotland in August.

JONATHAN REDHEAD

Record-breaking teenager Hadley Jones sets off for Italy this week in a bid to become a world powerlifting champion.

The teenager, from Sprowston, is currently the British and European Drug Free Powerlifting Association champion and owner of a host of world records after success in the European championships in Scotland in August.

A trainee painter and decorator, Jones has been on an astonishing record-breaking spree this year, in a sport he has only been taking part in for little more than a year.

Now, following his success in Scotland, the 18-year-old is aiming to become a four-time world champion in the World Drug Free Powerlifting Federation World Championships in Pescara this weekend.

It will be a step-up in class for the Lowestoft College student who will be competing in the squat equipped and unequipped and deadlift equipped and unequipped categories in the 67.5kg category for 18-year-olds. In the equipped category, competitors wear knee wraps and also powersuits which will enable them to lift heavier weights.

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His ultimate aim, however, is to make the crossover from powerlifting to weightlifting and make the Great Britain team for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Jones, who recently secured a sponsorship deal with sports clothing manufacturers Skins, has upped his training to twice a day, six days a week at the Bannatynes and CEYMS gyms in Norwich, the latter of whom has awarded him £500 towards his training expenses.

He will come face-to-face with American lifters for the first time at the world championships, but he is looking forward to the event.

"Whatever the outcome, I'm just so pleased to be able to travel the world and have the opportunity to compete on a world level with some of the best athletes in the world," Jones, who has been nominated in the Young Sports Person of the Year category in the EDP Sports Awards, said.

"This is a stepping stone for most world class lifters and no doubt most of the athletes will go on to bigger and better things in their sporting careers."