European golds for amazing weightlifting veterans

CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE -- weightlifters Eric and Lynn Dolman.
CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE -- weightlifters Eric and Lynn Dolman.
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Amazing weightlifting veterans Eric and Lynn Dolman, of Chesterfield, are celebrating another major milestone in their sporting careers.

For the globetrotting couple, aged 80 and 67 respectively, have landed gold medals at the European Masters Championships, which were held at Bangor in Wales.

The husband-and-wife team, who live in Tupton, struck in the 69-kilo class -- Eric in the 80-plus age category and Lynn in the 65-70 section. And their success followed a similar golden double at the British Championships in March.

“We are very pleased,” said Eric. “It is turning out to be quite a year for us.

“I feel I am really coming into my own now I have turned 80 and moved into a new age group. I have broken British records for the snatch and the clean-and-jerk, while Lynn has a new British record for the snatch.

“We go to Belgium next week for The International invitational event, and then it’s the World Championships in Finland in September.” Lynn won a silver medal at last year’s worlds, held in Denmark.

The tournament in Bangor also came in handy for Eric to revisit his 42-year professional career as a freelance opera singer. For he fronted the choir at the opening ceremony and sang the Welsh national anthem, ‘Land Of My Fathers’ -- in Welsh!

Eric began weightlifting at the age of 20 and won his first title in 1954. He gave up to pursue his career, but won a British title as soon as he returned in 1997. Lynn took up the sport only two years ago, but soon established herself as the best in Britain. Both are trained by their 34-year-old son, Sam, who is also a former national champion. “It’s such a family affair that I’m wondering if we could get into the Guinness Book Of Records,” said Eric.