Record-breaking Baugh continues his rapid rise
WEIGHTLIFTING wonder Ryan Baugh has ended the season as he began it – breaking records on his way to winning tournaments.
Baugh returned from the prestigious Fulda Cup competition in Austria, boasting yet another British record, a title and also a best lifter award.
All this less than two weeks after the diminutive but hugely talented Baugh had shattered a national record at the British senior championships.
A trend the Michaela Breeze-trained athlete had maintained all year and the Ivybridge Community College student was at it again in his final competition of a highly-successful season.
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He set new personal bests and a fresh set of career landmarks, at the Fulda Cup event.
Baugh had gone into the multi-national weightlifting tournament at Lochen, boasting a career-high 186kgs total, set while competing at the Olympic qualifying event in Derby.
Previously Baugh has competed in the under-14 age group but despite qualifying for that age range, he was moved up to compete at under-17 level in the 62kg body-weight category.
And, as usual, Baugh, showed no sign of being overawed and shrugged off this challenge as he has other major meetings.
With confidence born from having competed in the British Seniors and British Juniors where the 14-year-old excelled to break British under-15 records, which had stood for a decade, Baugh was determined to improve on those marvellous marks.
Weighing in at 61.4kgs and up against boys two years' his senior, Baugh's ambition to better his newly-set 82kgs snatch record was evident from the off.
He first nailed 79kgs, swiftly followed by a new British record of 83kgs, Baugh made it three from three finishing with an astonishing 85kgs total.
The clean and jerk competition, saw Baugh tested both physically and mentally after delays and confusion prevented the Plymothian from stepping onto the platform.
Baugh demonstrated maturity beyond his years, remaining completely focused on the job in hand.
His successful opening attempt of 99kg was then followed with yet another successful British record attempt at 105kg.
With one attempt remaining and victory in his category secured, 110kg was loaded.
Had he successfully raised this weight, then it would have hit the qualification mark for the European under-17 event due to take place in late August.
However, Baugh, was unsuccessful in this final attempt and had to settle for a new British total record of 190kg.
Commonwealth gold medal winner and double Olympian Breeze hailed his performance as 'absolutely incredible'.
She said: "Not only did Ryan win (comfortably) the Fulda under-17 title against guys two years his senior, he was also named best lifter across all categories for those (athletes) born in the same year.
"This ends an eventful and extremely successful few months in which Ryan has broken 11 British under-15 records in the last three competitions."
Breeze said that Baugh's sights are now set on moving up a weight category to 69kgs and spending the summer building the base before the British under-18 championships due to be held in October.
Baugh, who travels to Leeds in July to train with the National Talent Squad, said the competition in Austria was 'fantastic'.
He said: "I'm very, very pleased to have come back with the title and to have a new record, too.
"I was given a great deal of support by the other British weightlifters who were competing there and I am very thankful for their help.
"I thought the previous competition at the British Seniors was the best atmosphere I'd ever experienced but this was something else again."
Looking back on his season, Baugh admitted it was a breakthrough year for him and that he will continue his association with Breeze when she leaves for a new post in Wales during the summer.
"I've achieved a lot and have Miss Breeze at the college to thank for that," said Baugh.
"We have worked hard on drills and programmes and my progress owes a lot to my time with Miss Breeze."