A LOTHIANS powerlifter has continued her meteoric rise in the sport by breaking an incredible 24th world record.
Mary Anderson scooped three world records at the World Powerlifting Championships in Scotstoun, Glasgow.
And the 44-year-old from Tranent, who manages McDonald’s in Edinburgh’s London Road, put in the sensational performance despite a training regime blighted by injuries.
She explained: “I broke three records in the unequipped –that was on the first day of the contest and it’s when you don’t use suits and wraps.
“I got a European record in the squat lift and the world record in the dead lift.
“On the second day, which was equipped, I got a world record in the squat lift and the world record in the total.”
The combined weight of Mary’s squat, deadlift and bench press came to 527.5 kg – 12.5kg more than the previous women’s world record.
Powerlifting movements are much shorter than those in weighlifting, where athletes raise weights from the floor to above their heads.
Despite Mary’s run of success, she admitted she was surprised that she did so well at the contest.
She said: “Training was a bit up and down. I didn’t get good training in the run-up to it – I was out for six weeks with a shoulder injury.
“And with my hamstring I couldn’t do any deadlifting for three months – I only started back training three weeks ago.
“I was quite surprised to have done so well after all that. I hadn’t really improved for two years.
“It’s not unusual in power-lifting to start later on in life. I’m strong enough at the moment to compete in the open, when I get older there will be other contests I can enter.”
Mary – who describes sport as her first love – excelled at track and field at Ross High School in Tranent, going on to appear in the 400m for Great Britain and appearing for Scotland in the heptathlon, shot-put and javelin.
But she only discovered she was good at powerlifting when, while she was recuperating from a serious hamstring injury, an instructor at a new gym she was attending persuaded her to try the sport.
Mary, who also teaches boxercise, isn’t letting her athletic success or her 24 world records go to her head.
She said: “I don’t like to go on about doing well – I wouldn’t go up to someone and say ‘look what I’ve achieved’, I just do it because I can do it.
“At the competitions I get quite a reaction from people. The American competitors saw me and they were all shouting, ‘Mary’. They all want to congratulate me and ask me about my training – it’s quite nice but it does put a bit of pressure on you.
“Everyone who takes part in the competition is really friendly, but at the same time you are all keeping an eye on each other’s scores.”
Mary is now focusing on next year’s World Championships in Boston.