‘DEVASTATING’ – that is how British powerlifting reigning champion Adam Alderman’s personal coach and father Brian describes Good Friday of this year, which saw his son’s chances of reaching the London 2012 Paralympics almost vanish.
It was to be a fateful bike ride home from his parents house which saw the 28-year-old clip the kerb and go over the handlebars on to his wrist that could have wiped out his dream of appearing on home soil in a Paralympic Games.
But despite a three-month complete lay-off from the weights to allow his broken bone to heal and having a pin inserted, Sible-Hedingham-based Alderman is on the comeback trail – and determined not to let injury prevent his ultimate goal from being achieved.
Out in Dubai this week, for the first set of two IPC ranking competitions since he broke his wrist, he is hoping to bench press 130kg in an international competition to get him back on track ahead of selection for the GB Paralympic powerlifitng squad, to be announced in February.
“I think now it is 50/50,” said Brian Alderman of his son’s chances of making the team.
“I would say he had an 80 per cent chance before his injury.
“Obviously British Weightlifting have been pushing him hard and taking him to a lot of international competitions so they must believe he has a chance.”
The 4ft 2.5ins powerlifter, who was born with Achondropasia – the most common form of dwarfism – took up disability powerlifting when he was 13, entering the Dwarf Sports Association’s Annual Games in 1995 and winning with a lift of 27.5kg.
The following year Alderman, who works at Siemens Medical Diagnostics in Sudbury and trains at nearby Zest Health & Fitness Centre in the town, set a world and British record in the 30kg bodyweight class of 32.5kg and then 47.5kg in 1997.
After deciding to take up the sport more seriously, the 12th ranked disability powerlifter in the world now competes in the 48kg weight class, the lightest at the Paralympics, and has bench pressed 132.5kg – 2.7 times his bodyweight – in competition at the British Championships in June 2010.
He was first called into the Great Britain team back in 2005, winning gold at the French Open Bench Press Championships and winning a junior bronze medal in the European Powerlifting Championships in Portugal in the same year. He is also the current World Dwarf Champion in his bodyweight class.
But injury has set the father-of-two back as he looks to secure the one place in his targeted weight category ahead of Anthony Peddle, a veteran of seven Paralympic Games and gold medallist.
“I think he will have to lift in excess of 140kg,” said Brian Alderman, who oversees his training programme set down by the GB coaching team. “He was almost there in April, doing 137.5kg (in training) and I thought he was two months away from it.
“If he had been able to go to the British Championships in June, he was hoping he could do that but he broke his wrist.
“At the time it was devastating, I think it has put him back six months. It was three months before he could get underneath the bar again and gradually had to build back to where he was.
“During the period of inactivity the muscles shrink so you have to get that back again.
“It has healed up remarkably well, he can hold 160kg on it now and that wrist is really strong again.”
Alderman still holds the British title as no-one else competed in his weight category at this year’s event but hopes he can do enough between now and February – he will likely have to enter the top eight in the world – to take his place at London 2012 and cap a remarkable comeback from a freak accident.