Adam Alderman is harnessing the pain of missing out on the London Paralympics to drive him on to a shot at glory in Glasgow and Rio de Janiero.
The Sible Hedingham-based powerlifter only returned to competitive action for the first time in 11 months since his home Games heartbreak 25 days ago, but has already set a personal best of 141 kg in only his second competition of the season.
That lift for Alderman, in the new under-49kg category in the UK IPC Bench Press Championships in Folkestone, Kent, on January 19, saw him retain his UK title and catch the eye of Team GB selectors ahead of the European IPC Powerlifting Championships in Russia in May.
Selection for the GB squad, which he only fell out of for the first time since 2005 for the Paralympics to now retired Anthony Peddle, will be revealed in a few weeks time.
But Alderman is hopeful he has done enough to be given a chance to shine in Russia from May 20 after his impressive showing in Kent, which followed winning the East Midlands (Able Bodied) Bench Press Championship in Colchester on Janaury 6, getting a cup for the best lifter in the competition.
“I have only done 140kg once, in Dubai (2012),” he said. “When I found out I had just missed out (on Paralympics selection) I did not stop training but I cut back a bit and 120 seemed heavy a few months ago, so I went back to strengthening training with heavy repetitions. I felt good and like I was back in the game.”
Alderman, who trains three days a week at Zest Health and Fitness Centre in Sudbury, addded: “I feel on top of my game now and I have just got to maintain it and keep going.”
Despite missing out on selection for London, Alderman still made the trip to be in the stands to watch the contest he should have been competing in and hopes that will be the last time has a passive role in a Paralympic Games before he retires.
“Weightlifters do not peak until their early 30s and I am 29 now, so I may be able to do one more after Rio,” he said. “If I do 145kg that should get me back on (the GB performance programme). I need to grab my opportunity with both hands, but it was a shame he (Peddle) didn’t retire before!”
Qualifying for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow starts in August and will carry on through until May next year with athletes having to obtain enough points to be considered for selection.