SWINDON-BASED powerlifter Charlie Shotton-Gale claimed her first-ever international medal at the EPF European Powerlifting Championships in Bulgaria.

Shotton-Gale, who has competed internationally for three years, has slowly climbed up the ranks on the European and world stage, and achieved her highest ranking in Europe this year of fourth overall.

She claimed the bronze medal in the individual deadlift competition in Bulgaria, much to her surprise.

Shotton-Gale competed in the under 84kg ladies category, achieving 202.5kg in her squat, a personal best at international level. Due to an ongoing shoulder problem she only managed to achieve one lift in her bench press, 120kg, but was happy to complete her final deadlift of 192.5kg for the bronze medal.

“I am so pleased to have finally achieved my first international medal, and am aiming high for the coming competitions,” she said.

“This competition was tough, but over the next few months I have World Classic Powerlifting Championships and the World Equipped Powerlifting Championships to contend with, so I have a lot of work still to do.

“If it wasn’t for Danny from DC Injury Clinic I am not sure I would have made it through the competition, as my shoulder has been very painful for a number of weeks now.”

Shotton-Gale will be competing in South Africa at the World Classic Powerlifting Championships from June 2-9 then on to America in November.

“Powerlifting is still an amateur sport and is not funded by UK Sport as of yet, so I have to find sponsorship for all these trips,” she said.

“I will be holding a fundraising event in the summer to help fund my trip to America, as I cannot afford to fund all these trips.”

If you would like to support Shotton-Gale you can get in touch with her by visiting her website: www.sg-fitness.co.uk.

“Once I complete the World Classic Championships I have the British Equipped Championships in July,” she said. “I am hoping for big numbers there.

“My aim for that competition is to break at least two out of the four British records. My best lifts at present are Squat 210k, bench 130k, deadlift 197.5k and total 522.5k. The records are squat 212.5k, bench 132.5k, deadlift 200k and total 530k.”