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Suffolk strength athletes Andrea Thompson and Jake Allen set to battle world’s best

PUBLISHED: 12:04 11 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:41 11 October 2017

Andrea Thompson has won Britain's Strongest Woman for two straight years. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Andrea Thompson has won Britain's Strongest Woman for two straight years. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A pair of Suffolk athletes are set to test themselves against the best on earth at the legendary World’s Strongest Man and Woman competitions in America.

Jake Allen finished 11th on his debut at the worlds last year. Picture: GREGG BROWN Jake Allen finished 11th on his debut at the worlds last year. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Andrea Thompson has just won Britain’s Strongest Woman for the second straight year while Jake Allen, who finished second at the national championships, earned his invite after posting footage online of various impressive lifting feats.

The competitions will be held in North Carolina on December 16 and 17.

Thompson, of Melton, finished eighth in the heavyweight division in her first crack at the worlds last year but, fresh from winning all five events at the British championship, is hoping to improve this year.

- Andrea Thompson wins Britain’s Strongest Woman

Andrea Thompson in action. Picture: CALLUM WILSON Andrea Thompson in action. Picture: CALLUM WILSON

“I was quite annoyed with eighth place, it wasn’t a very good competition for me last year,” the 34-year-old said.

“I’d like to make it into the top ten to qualify for the second day, and then finish in the top five – to win would be incredible. It’s going to be an amazing show and a big battle – the standard will be very high.”

Thompson, who trains at the Suffolk Strength Academy with coach Ben Gray, lists the yoke carry as her favourite event, where she can shift 300kgs “quite comfortably.”

- Thompson comes second in Europe

Jake Allen with some of his strongman trophies. Picture: GREGG BROWN Jake Allen with some of his strongman trophies. Picture: GREGG BROWN

She fits her training around a job as an NVQ assessor at Suffolk New College, plus family life with proud husband Stephen and children Olivia, nine, and Violet, six.

Remarkably, she’s only been seriously training in the sport for three years. “I started out at a CrossFit class and quickly realised I didn’t really like running much, I preferred the weights,” she explained.

“I’d like to think I could win the world title one day, it all depends how my body holds out!”

Meanwhile, Trimley St Martin’s Allen, who can deadlift almost 50 stone, will compete in the under 90kg category, having finished 11th on his world debut last year.

- Jake Allen targets world title

“Last year I went to the worlds with no real expectations,” the 26-year-old, who trains at Oaks Gym in Ipswich, said. “It was my first time competing at that level and I just wanted to enjoy it and learn from the other guys.

“I was probably a bit of a one-trick pony then, I relied too much on my back strength, but I have worked on my leg strength and upper body strength and become much more of an all-rounder.

- Jake Allen’s gym tips

“To go from eighth to second in Britain shows how much I’ve improved.”

- If you want to sponsor Thompson to help with her training and travel, call 01473 324834.

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