GYMPIE'S Declan Evans has added another record to his powerlifting resume after winning lifts in the Australian School Bench Press Competition earlier this year.
The young athlete found out he had not only won the under-18 under 53kg class as a 16-year-old, but also broken the record when official results were released last week.
He pressed 72.5kg, beating the previous record by 22.5kg on his third and final attempt.
The James Nash State High School student represented his school in the national school bench press postal event (lifts were submitted) after completing his winning lifts at Gympie City Gym.
These lifts were witnessed by James Nash teacher Tony Chamberlain and the gym owners.
Evans is no stranger when it comes to breaking records as he had already broken last year's under-16 under 53kg class in the same event.
His mother Bronwyn Evans is not only proud as a parent of her son's efforts but also as his qualified powerlifting coach.
"We sort of expected him to beat the record - he had been training towards it," she said.
Bronwyn, a former Australian open bench press champion, earned her title back in 2009 and has won several state titles.
She said her son had only been doing powerlifting competitively for the past two years but had been training for the past three.
Declan trains four days a week.
"He trains to a schedule designed for him to peak before an event," Bronwyn said.
"Declan is the sort of kid who will do any kind of sport but because my son is autistic, individual sports work well for him."
Bronwyn said her son was on equal footing with other competitors.
More recently, he has qualified for the Australian national powerlifting championships to be held next year after competing at the full lift (all three lifts) University of Queensland Spring Challenge competition in Brisbane.
Declan won the Men's Open Under 59kg Class with a squat of 100kg, bench press 70kg and deadlift of 110kg with a total of 280kg, meeting the qualification requirement for the nationals in the Sub-Junior Division for under 59kg.
The event was held on location at the university in front of international judges.
This is the first time Declan has made it to a national level and it is a stepping stone for his ultimate goal next year to qualify for the 2016 Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships.