Meet Ipswich’s real life Incredibles making powerlifting a family sport
Ipswich sporting star Morgan secures first powerlifting title aged 15...11 years after world champion parents predicted she would be a future champ!
“We’ve potentially got a four-year-old champion on our hands.”
Those were the words of proud dad Neil Thomas back in 2006 when the Ipswich Star reported that he and wife Ann both began clinching world championships in powerlifting.
Now, 11 years later, their daughter Morgan, now 15, has fulfilled that promise by winning the National Deadlift Championships in Kings Lynn in the Teenager 1 category – setting a national, European and world record in the process.
The Royal Hospital School pupil in Ipswich has grown up around the gym and dumbbells having both her parents competing internationally, but first began training properly herself five months ago.
With weekly training at the school alongside development sessions and trips home to her parents, who have since moved out of Hadleigh where they were based in 2006 to Luton as part of their work in the armed forces, Morgan has been making strides in the sport.
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Dad Neil, now 44, said: “It’s just absolutely unbelievable, we were never pushing her with it because we wanted it to be her decision.
“She said she wanted to see where she was with it, and I hadn’t been expecting her to be anything like as good as she was.”
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Morgan has now got a place lined up in June in the World Championships in Antwerp, where she hopes she can add a world title to her national success, but the teenager is also proving to be an all-round sporting success excelling in hockey and athletics.
“She has never been shy of being in the gym so we certainly weren’t surprised when she picked it up,” Neil added.
Both Neil and Ann, 37, are still taking part in the sport – Ann having won an astonishing 11 world championships while Neil collected several medals and went into the organisational side of the sport.
Both are eyeing the national championships this year.
Neil said: “We are a very sporty family and in those 10 years we have had a son, who is six, who has just been picked up for Luton Town Elite Under 7s and is a monster footballer himself.”
So will the young Ruben be following in his family’s footsteps?
“We are on a bit of a run, aren’t we!?” Neil added.
“Given everything his sister and his mum have achieved and having the same opportunities I would certainly not be surprised,” Neil said.
Morgan added: “Following in my parents footsteps really makes me quite proud as a daughter, because they are so supportive of the sport and are always doing it themselves. I would like to think that my brother may one day do it too.”