LOCAL power lifter Kyle Vauls put on a fantastic show of strength to secure second place at the legendary Bullfarm King of Bench competition in Finland last week.
Kyle received an invite to compete against Europe’s elite bench pressers at the event in Turku after winning the World Championships last year when he bench pressed 310kg.
And with the support of training partners Alan Tosh and David Anderson the Coleraine man produced a remarkable performance lifting 330kg in his final bench press to secure second place.
“It was a completely unexpected result, so I’m delighted to say the least,” Kyle told Times Sport.
“I was thrilled to be given an invite to the event, which is organised by the world renowned Bullfarm Gym which is situated in Tampere, Finland.
“They had noticed me at the World Championships and at the turn of the year one of the organisers, Juha Mentula, who has since become a good friend , asked me to come and compete.
“I thought it over for a few days to see if it would be possible. David and Alan said they would come with me so I decided to go for it, so it was time to dig in and get ready.
“I made it my mission to train the bench harder than ever before, thankfully it all went well and I stayed injury free so I was ready to go. I knew roughly I was capable of benching between 330kg and 340kg if it all went well based on what I had done in training.
“We arrived for the competition on Saturday 14th and I had said to myself that it would be a great result to finish in the middle of the group (there was 14 lifters invited) given the quality of the field.
“I had three lifts. I started off with a successful lift of 320kg. I then went on to 330kg but I failed on my first attempt, so I decided to go for it again in my third and final lift and this time I was successful.
“I was obviously really happy with it, but I didn’t know where it left my in terms of places.
“It was only when David and Alan started to check the scores that I realised that I was either second or third after the final round with only two lifters left to go.
“I couldn’t believe it when I was confirmed in second place runner-up to a power lifting great called Jonas Rantanen, who holds countless power lifting records.
“I have to say a big thanks to everyone who helped me achieve this fantastic result.
“Firstly a big thanks to Alan and David who helped me prepare for this event and went out of their way to go to Finland with me.
“And also my good friend Sam Graham of Sam’s Gym, Ballymoney for getting me into this sport. Sam makes sure we have everything we need to make sure we progress in what we do.
“I’d also like to thank all the other guys at Sam’s Gym for all their help and support.
“And my partner Lesley-Anne and kids Tori and Jay who have to put up with my late evenings at the gym.
“Finally thank you to those few people who continue to support me with sponsorship and the Coleraine Sports Council for all their help.”
Kyle will be back in action again in just three weeks time when he heads off with David Anderson to compete at the GPC European Championships in Slovenia and there’s every chance there will be more honours heading back to Coleraine.