Os­car (15) wins gold in Cork

Bray People - - NEWS - By PADRAIG BYRNE

A New­town teenager looks on course to set the world of Par­a­lympic pow­er­lift­ing alight after man­ag­ing to win his cat­e­gory at a na­tional event in Cork hav­ing just started pow­er­lift­ing twelve weeks be­fore­hand.

Fif­teen-year-old Os­car Han­cock, who has cere­bral palsy, was taken un­der the wing of Par­a­lympic pow­er­lift­ing ace Reg Byrne from Bray who had specif­i­cally set out to find a young­ster to coach and to pro­mote the sport he loves.

Just twelve short weeks after be­gin­ning train­ing, Os­car has man­aged to win the J1 cat­e­gory at the Ir­ish Drug Free Pow­er­lift­ing Cham­pi­onships An­nual Push Pull Com­pe­ti­tion in Cork, where he man­aged to lift 57kg – de­spite the fact that he only weighs 50kg him­self.

‘He had never done a sport in his life be­fore this,’ said proud coach Reg, who also won his Masters event in Cork. ‘He was de­lighted with him­self and we’re all over the moon for him. It’s mind bog­gling what the ex­pe­ri­ence meant to him. The crowd went wild for him and he had ev­ery­one com­ing up con­grat­u­lat­ing him. It was pretty spe­cial.’

Reg said that Os­car shows a nat­u­ral ap­ti­tude for the sport and is com­mit­ted to train­ing.

‘He’s a mem­ber of our pow­er­lift­ing club now and he comes in and trains with me three times a week,’ he said. ‘Each ses­sion lasts roughly around two-and-a-half hours and he’s come on in leaps and bounds in the last few weeks. When he first came in he could hardly lift a bar and for him to go on and win his cat­e­gory in Cork in such a short pe­riod of time was a mas­sive achieve­ment.’

Next on the agenda for Os­car is to get of­fi­cial clas­si­fi­ca­tion from the IPL world body and then his thoughts will turn to the Ju­nior Para Games where he will be hop­ing for more suc­cess.

Os­car Han­cock and his coach Reg Byrne after win­ning their pow­er­lift­ing events in Cork

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