Ivybridge's Ryan Baugh has stirring England bow at weightlifting tri-nations event
RYAN BAUGH struck gold on his debut as England's weightlifters retained their tri-nations winners title against Sweden and Norway.
England were emphatic victors by almost 200 points at the Sweden-staged international with teenager Baugh adding another medal and prize to his trophy cabinet.
Holders England amassed 2,354 points to top the podium. Sweden were next best on 2,168 points closely followed by Norway with 2,162 points in the scenic and snowy venue of Landskrona.
The Ivybridge Community College student was voted the best under-17 lifter and came home with a team gold, another set of personal bests and with reputation enhanced.
However, the one down side for Baugh, he admitted, was that he did not reach the 211kg combined total he was eager to achieve.
The 15-year-old had targeted that figure which would guarantee him qualification for the European Youth Weightlifting Championships in Estonia later this year.
But Baugh did break through the 200kg ceiling in competition for the first time, having gone to the Scandinavia comp with a PB of 197kg.
Baugh snatched 85kg, 88kg but struck out when trying for 91kg.
However, he sailed through the clean and jerk competition, posting scores of 110kg, 113kg and finally 115kg, and in total earning 284.07 points for his country.
Baugh will next try for the 211kg total again next month at the British Universities and College Sports Championships at Sheffield Hallam.
One way or another, Baugh, who competes in the 69kg body-weight category, is determined to hit the qualifying mark.
For now, a brilliant bow for England takes pride of place.
He said: "It was a great competition and real honour and privilege coming back with a gold for England and being awarded a best lifter in my age group. I've got to be pleased.
"I wasn't fazed at all and really responded to the competition which had some very, very good lifters in it.
"You get a buzz being in the mix with the other guys, although I am able to switch off and focus on my own competition.
"The only disappointment was not being able to get the qualification mark I wanted for the European Youth Championships at the beginning of September.
"It has to be achieved in competition, even though I've already lifted 211kg in training.
"I'll go to BUCS next month and, hopefully, break it there."
Baugh had a sensational year in 2012 where the Michaela Breeze discovered and trained weightlifting sensation regularly broke new PBs and in September became British U18 champion.
Baugh keeps in contact with the Olympic and Commonwealth Games star and former Ivybridge PE teacher Breeze, who is running her own gym in Aberdare.
"Ms Breeze was delighted with my performance and results, of course, as were the national coaches," said Baugh, who has aspirations of competing for England in next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Baugh will need to hit the Games' combined qualifying total of 260kg to do so, but is not afraid of trying.
"If you don't aim high and try, then you don't get, do you?" he said.