NEWPORT powerlifting duo Chris Davies and Darren George have been selected to represent Wales in the Four Nations Championships in Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth Championships in Northumberland later this year.

Davies from New Inn and George from Cwmbran, who train at the Albany Industrial Estate Gym in Crindau, Newport, both came second in their various weights (90kg and 82.5kg respectively) in Febuaury at the Welsh Championships in Morriston and impressed in front of the Commonwealth Games Selection Committee.

"It went really well," explained Davies. "It was great to come second and the two guys that finished in first place ahead of Darren and myself were of a really high standard.

"We both were part of the Wales side that competed in the Four Nations competition in Milton Keynes last year and it will be great to be involved in this year's event (which starts October 15)."

Both took up the sport, which is far more intense that regular weightlifting, ten years ago and now they have their sights on places in the Commonwealth team for Melbourne next year.

"The Commonwealth Committe were there and I don't think that we are too far off," Davis said. "We were both second at a very high standard and to go to the Commonwealth Games would be a dream.

"The International Olympic Committee (IOC) are looking at including powerlifting at the Olympics and it has really taken off in recent years.

"It is popular and a bit like the strong man competitions you see in television and it is a very pure sport with no drugs involved."

He added: "It is fantastic to go and represent Wales in Northumberland and I enjoy all aspects from the competition to the pre-event dinner and so on."

As you can imagine, powerlifting is not for the faint-hearted with with Davies lifting a combined weight of 590kg and George 583kg on their way to second places with three disciplines, squat, bench and deadlift.

"It was pretty hard work," Davies said. "There is not a bit of me that does not hurt the day after competition and sometimes the blood vessels in your thighs can explode as well when you do some of the extreme lifts."

"But it is all worth it, and it would be worth it to be at the Commonwealth Games."

He added: "The hard part is finding sponsorship because the equipment is very expensive and it costs a lot of money to compete so we are hoping that some local businesses can take an interest."