Table Quiz To Help Rachel Power Her Way To World Championships In Canada

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Rachel O’Connor with coach Diarmuid Brennan at the Dynamic Strength and Conditioning centre in High Street. Photo by Dermot Crean

SHE may have only started the sport just over a year ago, but a Tralee woman is already ranked in the Top 5 internationally and off to the World Powerlifting Championships in Canada later this year.

Rachel O’Connor from Knockmoyle decided she wanted to get fitter last year and went to the Dynamic Strength and Conditioning Gym on High Street run by Tipperary native Diarmuid Brennan.

“I used to play football with Kerins O’Rahillys, but with work it proved difficult to get to training and games regularly. So in April last year a friend suggested I go to the gym,” said the 26 year old.

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“Diarmuid suggested I try a bit of weight training and he soon realised I was pretty strong. He told me about a competition in Monaghan last August so I went along and I came second. Since then he coached me and put me on training and nutrition programmes,” said Rachel who works in Woodies.

There was a World Championships qualifier in February where Rachel came first in her weight category (90kg). Since then, she also won in Cork and Dublin competitions and has been invited on the Irish team for the World Championships in Alberta, Canada from October 4-6.

Rachel is ranked joint fifth in the world for her squat and joint fourth for her deadlift in her weight category and she is improving all the time with the help of her coach.

“He saw something in me and has put a lot of work into my training. It’s all a bit mad really and I’m learning all along,” said Rachel.

Diarmuid speaks highly of Rachel and her progress in the sport. “I’m very proud of her. It’s an amazing achievement. She only came in April 2018 and started powerlifting in July so she’s only a year at it. I noticed she was very strong, she’s built for that sport. She works very hard, training six days a week so she’s very dedicated. Based on her rankings, she has a good chance in October,” said Diarmuid.

Since the Canadian trip is self-funded, to help Rachel with her expenses she’s hoping people will support her challenge with a table quiz fundraiser this Friday night in O’Donnell’s Mounthawk from 8pm.

There’s be loads of spot prizes and Diarmuid himself will be the quizmaster. Woodies staff have been a great support to Rachel as have her former teammates in Kerins O’Rahillys, so it should be a wonderful way for the local community to show their support for a Tralee woman with a great chance of bringing a World Championship medal home this autumn.

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