Girl, 10, beats adults at strongwoman contest by lifting three times her weight

A petite 10-year-old girl has her sights set on Olympic gold after winning a weightlifting competition over grown adults.

Aeryn-Ejjina Atkinson wakes up at 5am to train before school every day and gets stuck into another session once she’s completed her homework.

In her first ever strongwoman contest, she heaved a 96-kilo barbell off the floor, using a semi-squatting technique similar to a dead lift.

She beat all other six contestants because of her lower weight of just 32kg.

Aeryn also carried a 65kg barbell across her shoulders, lugging it a full 15 metres in 32 seconds, to come fifth in an event called the yolk walk.

The 4ft 6in powerhouse showed her strength by pulling a two-tonne van 10 metres, and did a 22.5kg log press for a new personal best at the contest held by fitness company Oak Strength in Gloucester.

Aeryn, from Telford in Shropshire, said: ‘I feel proud and I’m excited for my next competition.

‘I dream of being in the Olympics, but I didn’t think I’d be doing this aged 10.’

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Her punishing training regime is inspired by her hero Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. She said: ‘I started doing it and then it’s just a habit that I’ve got into.

‘I enjoy it but sometimes I get really tired, then I normally tell myself “you did this yesterday so you can do it again”. And I can. I’ll never give it up.’

She plans to open a gym when she turns 16, having created business plans and shown it to personal trainers alongside her parents Craig and Melody.

Dad Craig, a writer, said: ‘I don’t think you’ll find a crazier 10-year-old, but you won’t find one more dedicated either.

‘No matter how many times we say “you’re not going to do that, it’s crazy”, she’ll always find a way.

‘A lot of people have the misconception that young people shouldn’t lift but in many countries it’s a national sport.

‘It’s all about training with people qualified to look after her as she develops so she learns to lift safely.

‘If you do the right technique you’re okay, and properly trained people won’t let you lift unless you’re doing it properly.’

He added: ‘We’re really proud of her, and slightly scared. Any time there’s something needs doing that requires strength like opening a pickled onion jar it’s Aeryn’s job.

‘We’ve got to make use of all those muscles.’

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