Last week saw Trowbridge factory worker make a spectacular and successful return to the lifting platform. Richard Fricker , who works for Gainsborough Ltd. in Trowbridge, was representing Great Britain at the World Power lifting Championships in Vienna, Austria. Vienna holds mixed emotions for Fricker as he has lifted there twice before. First visit ended with a trip to the hospital with a torn pectoral muscle. Second visit ended with a European title and a world record.
This visit was a very last minute decision. Only 8 weeks out Fricker had been told his date for a knee operation on an injury, which had kept him out of lifting for 18 months. Fricker rejected this date and said he would have the operation after this year’s World Championships.
Therefore, with only 8 weeks training Fricker set about some heavy training. Things did not go to plan as a serious chest infection made him lose another 3 weeks training. With Gainsborough giving the time to train by working flexible hours, Fricker was able to get some heavy work done.
As well as the world power lifting championships, there were also the world bench press championships on offer. These were held at the same venue but earlier in the week. Fricker was entered into both. Thursday was his first day of lifting. After a slow start Fricker soon made up ground, and had a lift of 190 kilos to win the title given three white lights. An attempt at the world record came down to his chest and stayed there. No lift. Too heavy. Still, Fricker was once again World Bench Press Champion.
On Saturday was the event he wanted to win. In front of a packed hall Fricker opened his squats with an easy 230 kilos, next was an easy 285 kilo lift. Then Fricker did something that surprised his opponents and the great Britain management. He made a huge jump to a world record weight of 330.5 kilos. With everybody else failing at under 300 this would give him a large lead. He took the weight out of the rack and squatted down and with everything he could muster slowly began to rise. The lift was very slow but the bar kept moving and the noise of the crowd was unbelievable. Fricker eventually re-racked the weight and waited for the judges decision. Three red lights and the crowd went mad.
Next came bench press. This had been going well in training but again the same tactics of a world record attempt on his 3rd lift shocked everyone. 197.5 kilos was loaded onto the bar and was pressed with ease by Fricker, to claim his second World Record of the day and a huge lead in the competition.
Third and final lift in a power lifting competition is the dead lift. Although Fricker holds the world record for this lift, he does not like it at all. A lift of 230 kilos and a careful eye on the score board meant that despite a slight groin strain, Fricker was once again World Power Lfting Champion. This was his tenth world title to go with his 9 European titles and 15 British titles.
Fricker is now waiting to see the out come of his knee operation to see if he can continue to lift at this standard. With an eye on a 400 kilo squat and next years World Championships being held in Las Vegas, he would like to continue for another year at least. But 2010 sees the championships being held in bath. Surely reason enough to try and keep going.
Fricker would like to thank his brilliant sponsors at LA Muscle. Also, helping this year was the Bizarre Bath comedy walk,which paid his hotel bill and Peter Hobbs at the Huntsman Pub in Bath who paid his flights and entry fees and also provided Fricker with huge amounts of chicken...
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