A WORCESTER teenager has moved a step closer to raising the bar on his Olympic weightlifting dreams with a life-changing performance in qualifying for the IWF World Weightlifting Youth Championships in the USA.
Myren Madden, 16, will fly out to the championships in Las Vegas next month – his first Olympic weightlifting event representing GB.
His selection follows a stunning performance in the British Weightlifting Youth Series competition in January when, although ranked number one in the UK for his category, he still had to achieve the internationally-set qualifying totals for the ‘snatch’ and ‘clean & jerk’ lifts to be considered for selection.
Madden lifted a massive 107kg in the ‘snatch’ lift and then an even bigger 135kg in the ‘clean & jerk’ lift and smashed his personal bests in both disciplines in the process.
The RGS Worcester student’s first step into Olympic weightlifting started with his passion for rugby. With a scholarship at the school for the oval ball, Madden showed a natural talent for the game but also a unique passion and flair for weightlifting.
Beyond just a strength and conditioning exercise programme to improve his rugby game, Madden excelled at weightlifting. He then sought an Olympic weightlifting coach and joined a British Weightlifting Association approved gym – Bullpen Worcester – building on his foundation as a strong and dedicated athlete.
In his first competition at his local gym last year, he achieved six successful lifts and subsequent competitions ensured he would qualify for the British Youth Championships.
With personal bests for both lifts ‘snatch’ and ‘clean and jerk’, Madden then claimed the title of British Youth Champion. During this competition, he also set national records for the U17 ‘snatch’, U17 ‘clean & jerk’, U17 total and the U20 ‘clean and jerk’.
Speaking about his qualification, Madden said: “I could hardly believe it when three green lights came on from the judge. I’d done it!!
“It’s been a long road of training, coupled with my commitment to Worcester Warriors’ academy, but the hard work has paid off and I’m off to Las Vegas to represent my country.
“Of course, this is just the start and my dream to become a world champion and Olympic champion has just begun.”
Coach Harry Cronin said: “Myren is such a talented sportsman, with so much potential for growth. His determination and cool head under pressure will see him succeed at the highest level of weightlifting.”
The talented teen will be backed by his family who live in Grafton Flyford and Madden will also scrum down and take his place in Worcester Warriors’ under 17 squad in March.