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Diss-raised Thomas Knapp eyeing international events after impressive British Junior Powerlifting Championships result



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Former Diss schoolboy Thomas Knapp is dreaming of appearing on the international stage after his recent performance at the British Junior Powerlifting Championships.

Knapp, who turned 23 last Sunday, took up the sport during his second year of studying at the University of Sheffield.

He went on to captain the university’s team in his final year before work took him to London, where he continues to train five days a week.

Diss-raised powerlifter Thomas Knapp finished third at a recent national event
Diss-raised powerlifter Thomas Knapp finished third at a recent national event

It is a physically demanding discipline, one which is a form of competitive weightlifting that requires contestants to attempt three types of lift – squat, bench and deadlift – in a set sequence.

And yet Knapp is making impressive progress, highlighted by his third-placed finish at the national competition in Solihull last month.

“I was going to the gym regularly at university and got into it through that,” said the ex-Diss High School pupil. “It’s a real progress sport. It’s like people who get addicted to the gym – that happens because they can see their progress and it’s the same with powerlifting.

“I’d done well to get through the regional qualifiers, but I didn’t expect to finish as high as third.

“The two people above me are the top two powerlifters in the country so in a lot of ways it feels like I came first.

“Before the competition started I was in a group of probably four that had a chance of coming third, so to finish ahead of those, I’m really happy with that.”

Knapp is also hopeful that it was a display and result that will have captured the attention of selectors when it comes to this year’s international events.

The Commonwealth, World and European Championships are all still to come, and Knapp, who played youth football for Scole United and Diss Town, is eager to be involved.

“I would love to go to an international competition,” he added. “At the moment eight men and eight women get selected and I think I’m in the top 10, so hopefully I’ve got a chance.

“Sometimes people are unable to go because other obligations, so at the moment I’m just waiting to be notified.

“If it doesn’t happen this time I’m still young and there is plenty of time. Powerlifting is not a big sport but it’s growing and to be a part of it at an international competition would be huge.”



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