The old adage that strength comes from within has been proven by a pair of Letchworth superstars - as they claimed gold at the Amateur World Powerlifting Congress World Cup.

Carolyn Coates, 23, came out on top in the U75kg junior class, breaking both the squat (150kg) and deadlift (165kg) world records, while 20-year-old Jennifer Childerhouse was the winner of the U60kg juniors.

She too added a world record to the gold by successfully lifting 133kg in the squat.

Trainer Nick O'Connell-Smith, owner of Train with Nick who is based at Rise Gym in Stevenage Old Town, said: "Eighteen months ago neither of them had even picked up a barbell and during the lockdown in the freezing winter months we were training outside in a car park, often in the dark.

"To see how far they have both come since then is amazing. Their hard work and dedication is a credit to them and I couldn't be more proud of their achievements as their coach.

"They are both fantastic ambassadors for my business and they have a bright future ahead in the sport of powerlifting.

"It just goes to show you can do anything when you put your mind to it."