BASINGSTOKE powerlifter Sam Goodall is celebrating after retaining his world title.
The 21-year-old, from Chesterfield Road, Black Dam, blew the competition away at the Drug Free Powerlifting Federation World Championships, which took place in Boston, America.
Competing in the under-23 100kg class, Goodall recorded a total of 672.5kg over the course of three disciplines to defend the title he won last year – finishing 31.5kg clear of his nearest rival.
Goodall said: “It was really nice to win again but I was nervous because there is a different sort of pressure when you are the reigning champion.
“I am my own worst critic and I’m so scared of losing, or even coming second. Everyone knows me now around the town, and I hate saying that I didn’t win.
“It was pretty terrifying going into the competition because I knew that it would only take one mistake and I would be out.”
In addition to the mental pressure associated with going into the competition as defending champion, Goodall has also had to contend with injury this year.
He suffered a partially-torn pectoral muscle in April, an injury that continues to restrict his efforts in the bench press, while he has also struggled with ankle ligament problems.
“It has been a really tough year injury-wise,” Goodall said. “I really wanted to go and defend my title but with the injuries, I did not want to pay out to go there and not do myself justice.
“I was really lucky that the company I work for, Waldham Precision Engineering, stepped up to sponsor me. That made me totally concentrate on my rehabilitation, and I pulled it out of the bag once I got out there.”
Goodall stamped his authority on the competition in the first discipline, the squat, lifting 252.5kg to break his own world record and take a 32.5kg lead.
“I have got a new training system for the squat and it is going brilliantly,” he said. “The squat is more of a mental event and one of my rivals had been giving me some chat before it, so it was really nice to break the world record.”
Goodall’s injury problems restricted his efforts in the bench press to 130kg, leaving the Basingstoke Powerlifting Club member trailing by 3.5kg going into the deadlift.
However, he destroyed the field with a lift of 290kg, beating his nearest rival by 36kg to win the competition overall. But it was not all plain sailing.
Goodall said: “I have done a bit better than that in the deadlift, and I failed with my first lift. That was a bit scary because if I had not made a lift, I would have been out of the competition.
“As it was, 290kg went up very comfortably and I went for another world record at 315kg. I got it to my knees but there was just not enough left in the tank to make it.”
Having won the competition, Goodall then faced a different challenge as Hurricane Sandy delayed his flight home by two days. But he said: “It was 100 per cent worth the trip, despite all of the problems. I never get bored of winning.”