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World Bench Press Championships the destination for Graeme Reid

By Ewan Malcolm

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GRAEME Reid is ready to go for gold in Lithuania after being called up to represent Great Britain at the World Bench Press Championships.

Graeme Reid (front) will take on an international field next month.
Graeme Reid (front) will take on an international field next month.

The event, which will be hosted in Vilnius on 21 October, pits strong men across the globe against each other in an Olympic style team event.

Reid (42) said he was "chuffed" to get the call after a year of pandemic-hampered preparations and training.

"It's a really big deal for me," he said.

"I really didn't expect this because I missed the British Championships earlier this year when I was ill.

"I thought I might get a call next year or maybe a year later but to get the call now was really unexpected."

Reid, formerly a teacher at Forres Academy, currently holds the Scottish bench press record in his weight and age category.

Now, after winning gold on his Commonwealth debut in 2019 and placing second at the British Championships last year, Reid is hoping to smash his own record in his biggest event yet.

He said: "I'm aiming to break my own 200kg record and help the team finish as high as possible. Hopefully that means gold as I believe you've got to be in it to win it.

"I've been training hard and the recent signs have been looking good so I think I'm more than capable of lifting 210kg or even as much as 215kg.

"I'm in a difficult group but I've just got to have the right mentality and treat it like any other event."

Reid's unique log cabin Olympic gym at his home outside Aberlour may be unusual to his fellow competitors but it has allowed him to train without interruption. Expert insight from straight talking coach Marc Giles has also helped Reid close the gap between himself and his rivals.

"I'm more than happy to speak to people but when I go to public gyms I have a job to do," Reid said.

"That's where the home set up really helped me stay in good shape over lockdown.

"My coach is a genius. I've been in constant contact over lockdown. He's a man of few words but he praises me when I've done well and gives me tips when I struggle.

"You know at six foot three and twenty one stone, I have pretty long arms which doesn't make for ideal bench pressing.

"He helped me get around that and factored that into my training."

Speyside Rotary Club, Guy Mcpherson Grant and Walkers Shortbread have all contributed towards Reid's exploits as he prepares to take on professional competition in under one month's time.

He'll be hoping to beat participants from Estonia, Japan, Mongolia and the Czech Republic in a fiercely contested group.

However, the Moray powerhouse isn't getting ahead of himself.

"It's an honour to compete against these guys," he said.

"You know I'm a guy who trains in a log cabin and I'm about to take on some international pro lifters.

"To get to where I've got to is surprising for me and my family but come October you just never know what could happen."

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