Kilkenny man and Tullaroan native James Fennelly was in action at the weekend in The All Ireland Strongest Man in Derry.
In front of a packed Derry crowd James flew the Kilkenny flag with pride and beat 10 other Strongman to claim the title of All Ireland Strongest Man 2012.
It was a sweet victory for James as last year he had to pull out injured after winning it in 2010. “It was a tough show as nothing to do with Strongman is ever easy but it was famtastic that all my hard work paid off and I won the title,” said James.
The competition took place over Friday and Saturday and events ranged from pulling a 13 tonne truck to the famous Strongman axle deadlift in which James set a new Irish record of 330kg on the two inch axle bar. “The bar is a two-inch axle bar not like your typical bar in the gym so not only is a strong back required but vice like grip,” he said.
James is now back in training for a competition this weekend in navan rugby stadium which sees Europe-v-Poland in front of a 3000 strong crowd. James is on the European team with Zydrunas Zavickas and Laurence Shahlaei, two of the world’s strongest men.
It has been a challeging year for James as not only has he had to prepare for all these competitions but he also is running his own fitness centre and full time fully equipped gym in Hebron Industrial Estate along with former Olympic Athlete Adrian O’Dywer and in-house physical therapist Maurice Walshe whom James is a regular client of.
The competition in Derry will be shown on RTE television in november and James is now looking to the future and his ultimate aim is to be the first Irishman to compete in Worlds Strongest Man in front of a worldwide audience.
Follow any future progress on james fennelly Irish strongman on facebook or www.fennellyfitness.com.