Worksop powerlifter Matt Merrick adds Mr Universe title to his list of honours
Proud Worksop powerlifter Matt Merrick has added a Mr Universe title to his growing medals collection.
That completed a clean sweep of gold medals in his weight category – and he achieved that despite a worrying elbow injury just before the competition, which was held at Genesis Gym in Wembley, London.
“I am feeling pretty ecstatic and surprisingly fresh considering I hit my biggest total ever,” he smiled.
“ It feels strange to say that I’ve now added a Mr Universe title to my name - which completes the gold medal haul for me.
“On the morning of the competition I was the most nervous I had ever been, pacing back and forth in my hotel room; but once I got to the venue everything came together perfectly.
“The nerves vanished and my warm-up went perfect so I was ready to go.
“I had my training partner, Dean, with me who helped me get my head in the right place and make sure I focused on what I was doing, not others.”
On top of having to quickly lose 5lb of body weight to make his weight limit, Merrick was also worried an injury could derail his ambitions.
“I’d had an elbow injury three weeks prior to the competition so I was worried about how that would hold up,” he said.
“But my physio did an amazing job at fixing that - even getting me in good enough shape to benchpress a new personal best - 165kg - only 10kg off the British record for my weight class.
“There were about seven opponents, but the only one who posed any real threat was another Brit, who I beat earlier this year at the British finals, and he pushed me all the way to the end.
“Thankfully I outperformed everyone on all three lifts - squat, bench press and deadlift - reaching a total of 665kg in the three lifts.
“I squatted a new personal best of 225kg which was strangely one of the easiest and best of my life. My technique was absolutely perfect, making the weight seem like nothing.”
He added: “My benchpress went well with a new PB , despite feeling like I was about to black out at the last second of the lift. My deadlift - for which I was 2019 World Champion- was solid - even giving me chance to showboat a little with the audience when holding 275kg in my hands.”