'It feels amazing': Banbury man claims England's Strongest Man title
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Patrick ‘Paddy’ Haynes picked up his first major strongman title over the weekend when he won the Ultimate Strongman England’s Strongest Man competition.
The competition, which was held at the Warrington Wolves rugby league stadium in front of around three thousand fans, saw some of the strongest athletes in the country do battle for the prestigious title.
Paddy, who has competed in the strongman competition for three years, saw off four-time champion and competition favourite Paul Smith and, by only one point, rival Andrew Flynn to be crowned champion.
The day consisted of five events, which included the 186kg shield carry in which Paddy came first and set a new UK record, a 400KG yoke walk, and a 320KG deadlift repetition, that he finished second. Paddy also finished first in the anvil race and placed 11 in the incline log press, giving him an incredible overall score.
Paddy said: "Two days before the show, the organisers changed two of the events, so we had to very quickly adapt, but thankfully the replacement events actually suited me, and I did very well in both of them.
"Pretty much everyone there thought Paul Smith would retain the title for the fifth year running, but it came down to me and Andrew, who are both quite similar and athletic and always very close, but I don’t think he’s beaten me yet."
Losing points in the final event to close rival Andrew meant that no one was certain who had won until the judges read out the scores, resulting in a delighted Paddy being overwhelmed with emotion.
"It came down to the last event, and Andrew beat me in that, so we didn’t know whether we had done enough to take the title. Waiting for the results to be announced was probably the longest minute of my life, and when they did, I just ran around, absolutely buzzing!
"It feels amazing; years of hard work have led up to it, so to all come together on a day like that was incredible."
Originally a long-distance runner and member of the Adderbury Running Club, Paddy became interested in the sport of strongman at university and now trains three hours a day for five days of the week at a purpose-built strongman gym in Twyford.
He said: "I’ve been competing in strongman for three years, with my first show in Banbury in 2020. However, this was my first major win on the professional stage and will guarantee me entry into a number of other big competitions.
"I have now qualified for the UK’s Strongest Man event next May, which I’m very excited for and will be a great opportunity. My main goals are to keep getting better, with the intention of reaching the World’s Strongest Man and being able to do it as a career and inspire others."
He will enter the Giants Live England’s Strongest Man competition on October 1, which gives him a chance of qualifying for the World's Strongest Man next year.
Paddy hopes the England’s Strongest Man title will help his coaching and private gym business, which he operates under the name of Haynes Strength.
For more information on Paddy’s coaching or gym, visit https://www.haynesstrength.co.uk/