Legend Phil signs off with more world titles

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Kirkby powerlifter Phil Beniston has just returned from his last ever WPF World Championships in Holland with three more world titles.

This was Phil’s last full powerlifting competition as he is retiring after a 27-year competitive career that has seen him win 21 world titles in three different weight classes, breaking over 200 British, European and world records, including over 50 world records.

He will lift in one more World Bench Press Championships next year to try and make 10 consecutive years as a World Champion, before finishing as a competitor completely to concentrate on refereeing and coaching.

After one of the hardest and closest competitions of his career, he came out on top in a close battle with powerlifting legend Victor Gomez, head of Mexican Powerlifting.

In the squat, Gomez took an early lead, at one stage he was 40kg ahead, but Phil managed to close the gap to 10kg going into the bench press, where he outlifted Gomez by 12.5kg, to go ahead by 2.5kg as they went into the deadlift.

Both lifters opened with the same weight of 245kg, then Phil’s coach advised him to play it safe and post a second attempt of 255kg, saying that Gomez’s jump to 265kg would be too heavy.

But somehow Gomez managed to lift 265kg, giving him a lead of 7.5kg with only one attempt each remaining.

Phil went for a new personal best lift of 267.5kg (590lb) for a world record deadlift and to make a world record total of 660kg, lifting it comfortably, and forcing Gomez to attempt 272.5kg.

He failed to lift that and Phil had his first world title of the competition.

Phil went on to win the World Bench Press title and the Open World Deadlift title with a new open world record.

He is the BPF (British Powerlifting Federation) vice president and the WPU (World Powerlifting Union) treasurer and records registrar and next April he will take his international referee’s exam.