Pontefract's Martyn Riley celebrates second European Masters title

Pontefract weightlifter Martyn Riley has won his second European Masters Championship title thanks to a superb ‘virtual’ performance.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 2:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 2:16 pm
Euro Star: Martyn Riley was able to focus on his own performance in winning a second European title.
Euro Star: Martyn Riley was able to focus on his own performance in winning a second European title.

Due to the lockdown, this year’s championships were held virtually but this played into Riley’s hands perfectly.

The 38-year-old explained: “Although I have won many awards and international ones too I have always struggled to perform my best on the platform as with my autism I have many challenges that affect this. I often struggle to focus and get distracted in busy areas and also with keeping time as when most people enjoy a gap to get rest, I cant settle.

“So this year with the competitions being virtual, I took my camera to my gym, Ultimate Shred in Pontefract, and just focused on myself. I didn’t get distracted and so was able to compete on a level playing field.”

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Riley also finished top of the open age British rankings in the 55kg class and third in the 61kg class as an over-35s lifter.

It is the latest success story for Riley who been involved in weightlifting for 26 years, winning eight British and English titles and setting more than 30 British records.

He said: “I just feel really happy I have made a positive out of these negative times and set an example to people like me who have additional needs.

“I want to thank the Ultimate Shred team, my coach Ed Halstead, Adam and Sam Travis for their nutritional advice, Sarah Eccles for fitness support and BWL British weightlifting.”

Riley offers qualified coaching on Tuesdays from 4.30pm onwards at Ultimate Shred, Pontefract.