Merton Weightlifting Club Ambassadors, Martin Marshall and Alana Pash, have flown the flag proudly for Great Britain at this year's IPF World Bench Press Championships, held in South Africa.

As their pair's first international competition, the stakes very certainly high having been overwhelmed to have been selected to represent Great Britain; it was an intimidating platform to be, with the best in the world lifting against them. The competition was more than challenging, due to the 11 hour flight, hot weather, and altitude as well, which made recovery harder between lifts, and put them at risk of cramping. Against all odds, Martin completed the competition by achieving all three of his lifts, with no red lights for fouls, ending on an impressive 202.5kg.

Alana, succeeded with all three attempts and received no red lights for fouls, and took the Greater London Record in doing so, benching an easy 90kg.

By the end of the competition, both Martin and Alana came away in the top 10 and helping Great Britain get in the top half of nations on the team standings.

It was the overwhelming financial and moral support provided by the members of the Merton Weight Lifting Club that made their involvement at all possible. Martin had this to say about the club:

"I have never had a team that was so interested in my powerlifting, and I am thankful to be working with so many people who embrace the sport in a variety of senses, whether it is putting up with me talking about powerlifting, spotting me, massaging me, running the new sessions, volunteering at the comps that we do, and participating in them as well. I am so lucky!"

Merton Weightlifting club trains at Wimbledon Leisure Centre and Spa in the gym between 6-8pm every Thursday and between 10am - 12pm every Saturday morning. For more information, please visit: or call on 07706 842255.