Conor breaks Irish record in weightlifting
When young Mullingar man Conor Moore (14) took up weight-lifting a year ago as a means of better preparing himself for competitive rugby, he had little idea what was in store.
Novice Conor, from Lakepoint, stunned judges at a recent Irish powerlifting meet when he smashed the all-time Irish bench press record in the 14-15 age category, lifting 90.5kg.
His coach and dad, Darren O’Reilly – a weight-lifting veteran himself – hadn’t really promoted the idea with his son. “I have a gym out the back of the house, and one day I noticed that some of the weights had been moved around!” Darren told the Westmeath Examiner.
It began from there. “I was playing rugby, and I thought working with some weights might build me up a bit and give me a physical advantage,” said Conor.
Darren then managed Conor’s use of the weights, starting him off lightly. He had no idea that within a year, he would be in record-breaking territory, smashing the bench press record set eight years ago.
As a result of his achievement, Conor reached the international qualifying standard and was invited to represent Ireland at the 2019 World Powerlifting Championships in Alberta, Canada.
However, Conor won’t be going – deciding instead to take his weightlifting slowly, and working towards breaking his own record at competitions in 2020 (he will still be eligible for the 14-15 age group). He is also just 25kg off the world record.
“When he lifted 90.5kg, I knew he had lot more in the tank,” said Darren. “But we wanted to take things easy and concentrate on competitions next year.”
Meanwhile, Conor, whose rugby hero is Brian O’Driscoll, is concentrating on the forthcoming season with Mullingar RFC’s U16s.
While there’s no real angle for an international career in weightlifting, Conor’s dream is to make the cut for Leinster some day.
And given his talent for breaking records, what’s to stop him?