A WOUNDED ex-soldier who lost both his legs in Afghanistan has won a silver medal with a personal best in the British Para-Powerlifting Championships.
Micky Yule who was injured in Helmand province when he stood on an IED, triumphed in the Light Men’s Category at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
The 36-year-old former staff sergeant from Musselburgh lifted 191kg in the bench press to take second place behind current IPC World Champion – and training partner – Ali Jawad, who lifted 195kg.
The next step for him will be a Rio qualifier in Kazakhstan at the end of the month and he is due to end the year with the European Championships in Hungary in November.
He said: “It’s a good time to hit a personal best with the Rio qualifier coming up. I only have to lift 190kg to qualify. That would take me to sixth in the world.
“It’s exciting stuff and I have to do the lift so sweet and fast that they wouldn’t dare fail me.”
He added his thanks to the Alliance Trust for their sponsorship and support on his journey to Rio.
Micky, who lost both his legs above the knee, had been a keen powerlifter before the explosion and surgeons said his size and strength had saved his life.
Following two weeks in intensive care and eight in hospital, he went to the army rehab centre at Headley Court in Surrey.
There he faced a gruelling period of rehabilitation as he battled to come to terms with his devastating injuries.
Learning to walk again on prosthetic legs, he seized the chance to return to the sport he loved.
Using it as a part of his recovery, he came fourth in the Commonwealth Games, won gold at the Invictus Games and clinched a second gold medal in the IPC Powerlifting Americas Open Championships.
Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery programme has funded his training equipment.
Martin Colclough, of the charity, added: “This is a really solid result for Micky, who now heads to the Para-Powerlifting Asian Open Championships at the end of the month on his quest for Rio qualification. Micky’s sheer determination and professional attitude is what stand him apart, and we look forward to continuing to support him on this exciting journey – whilst he continues to inspire other wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women that anything is possible post injury.”
Micky was joined at the competition by other ex-servicemen who are just starting out in the sport. In order to allow athletes with a range of body weights and disabilities to compete fairly, placings were calculated with an adjustment for body weight, meaning the heaviest weight lifted was not always the winning result.
For the second year running, the British Championships combined both weightlifting and para-powerlifting disciplines.
The two-day event attracted a record number of entries with more than 115 athletes competing across 22 weight categories.