WEIGHTLIFTING: MARTIN Flett is muscling in on a trip to Miami after lifting his first British Bench Press title.
Following his record-breaking exploits, he will head to the United States to compete in April's World Championships.
The Runcorn gym owner took the national crown by setting a North-West best for Masters Two (Over 50s).
His 172.5kg lift beat the previous regional best for the 100-kilos class by two-and-a-half kilos.
He finished 20 kilos clear of title holder Ken Crickmore, despite the Londoner making a big improvement on last year's winning lift.
The national event took place at Birmingham with Flett, stepping up to Over 50s for the first time, always confident glory could be his.
He said: 'I'd looked at the results from last year and thought unless somebody made a very big improvement, then I should win it.'
Flett owns Flett's Health and Fitness in Greenway Road, Runcorn, and lives in Frodsham.
'It's nice to be able to say you're the British champion but it was much harder to get the North-West record
than it was to get the British Championship - so, in a way I'm more pleased about that,' he admitted.
Competitors are allowed just three lifts in the competition and Flett chose a 'safe' 165 kilos first up.
He added: 'I had no-lifted three times last year and remembered it well.
'It was the worst feeling in the world travelling down to Birmingham and bailing out without anything to show for it.'
Flett said: 'My target was to get in a safe lift with the first but hopefully do enough with that to win the competition - last year's Masters Two winning total was 135 kilos - and then go for the North-West record.
Having broken, with his second lift, the regional record of 170 kilos, which had stood since the turn of the century, he set himself another big target for his third lift.
'I wanted to do 182½ kilos which would have equalled my best in the gym but didn't quite make it,' added Flett, who celebrated his 50th birthday two days after his British title win.
Flett is now looking forward to competing in Miami.
'It's self-financing unfortunately, but something worth bashing the credit card for,' he said. You are not going to get too many chances like that.'