Kilkenny man James Fennelly created history at the weekend by becoming the first man to be crowned Republic of Ireland Srongest Man for the fourth time in a row in Cork.
James started weight training at the age of 17 after playing underage hurling for his local parish Tullaroan.
He competed in powerlifting for four years and then progressed to Strongman in 2007 where it provided him with a totally new challenge.
In in own words, “Pulling a 15-tonne artic truck is not easy!”
In his first Ireland’s strongest man competition in 2008 he placed fifth and this gave him the fire to win the following year. Now he says he’s aiming to “achieve something Kilkenny couldn’t achieve in hurling, the five-in-a-row.”
James is now heading over to the English city of Leeds on June 23 to compete in Europe’s Strongest Man, a qualifier for World’s Strongest Man. He says it would be a massive achievement to be the first Irish man to achieve this feat in front of a worldwide audience as the show will be filmed for Eurosport and shown during the summer.
James is a qualified personal trainer and fitness instructor and has his own gym in the Hebron Industrial Estate, where he works alongside fellow fitness instructor and former Olympic high-jump athlete Adrian O’Dywer. James says he understands fully how to protect and mind himself as he competes in this challenging sport although injuries are always something that can’t be completely prevented, as in any sport.
James posts regular updates about his competitions on the James Fennelly Irish Strongman fan page on Facebook.