Strongmen take on world

Graham Hicks.
Graham Hicks.
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Two district muscle men have their eyes firmly fixed on a return to the World’s Strongest Man in 2013.

Training partners Graham Hicks and Jack McIntosh both impressed at the 2012 version of the event, broadcast on Channel 5 over the Christmas period, despite struggling with injury.

Hicks was especially pleased with his performance, finishing joint fourth in his group and winning his first event, the anvil carry, on his debut appearance at the pinnacle of strongman.

The 27-year-old from Morecambe said: “I’m absolutely delighted with how I got on.

“I didn’t really tell anyone I had a bad hip injury before I went.

“I couldn’t really walk and could hardly squat, I don’t really know how I got through it to be honest.”

The former Our Lady’s High School pupil enjoyed the trip out to Los Angeles and mingling with some of his strength heroes.

“I had breakfast one day with the guys who came first and second,” he said.

“I just found myself sat there not speaking, I didn’t know what to say. But I’m better for the experience and have had a lot of support and nice comments.

“I can only get better. I came in at short notice and only knew the events three weeks before.

“I’d never done the anvils before (the event he won) and it’s worth noting that of the 30 competitors I was the only who weighed less than one of the 120kg anvils!”

Bolton-le-Sands based McIntosh came fourth in his group, one place worse than his debut 12 months prior, but was content as he had a hamstring injury.

The 24-year-old is looking to improve in 2013 and is still waiting to hear back from a trial with professional wrestling giants World Wrestling Entertainment.

He said: “I’m as pleased as I can be.

“I didn’t do as well as the year before but the hamstring injury was pretty bad. It’s healing up well now so I’m hoping to do much better this year.

“I should find out about the WWE this month but I’m focused on getting to World’s Strongest Man again.”

Qualification for the 2013 World’s Strongest Man begins in April in Swindon at the English qualifier for the Britain and Europe’s Strongest Man.