A WOUNDED ex-serviceman has overcome adversity to be named the European para-powerlifting champion.
Micky Yule, from Locks Heath, came out top at the Para-Powerlifting European Open Championships in Eger, Hungary, with three successful lifts with a best of 193kg.
For the former staff sergeant, it marked a triumph as just over five years ago he lost both of his legs above the knee when he stepped on an IED in Helmand Province.
He was on the front line clearing roadside bombs in July 2010 with his regiment, the Royal Engineers, when he accidentally stepped on an explosive device.
He spent a week in a medically-induced coma after being flown home, and finally came round in intensive care at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham.
He then spent his recovery at Headley Court Military Hospital, in Surrey, leaving in 2013.
A fundraising campaign held in 2010 by Micky’s friends raised more than £2,000, which he put towards buying gym equipment.
Now that hard work and determination has paid off, with the 36-year-old’s success in Hungary.
Micky, who has been supported by Help for Heroes, said: ‘It was my first time lifting in a higher weight group, but training had gone well and I felt confident.
‘I managed to beat the two Russian athletes and press 193kg to win gold. It also pushed me into sixth in the world rankings for Rio.
‘It was an amazing feeling to win and I’ll be taking that confidence forward now as I try to nail down my Rio qualifier in February.’
Micky was a part of the Army powerlifting team pre-injury, and has used the sport as a part of his rehabilitation, culminating in a fourth place at the Commonwealth Games and gold at the Invictus Games last year.
The support he received from Help for Heroes forms part of its partnership with British Weightlifting and the British Paralympic Association, which aims to get veterans into the sport.
Jayne Kavanagh, who heads up Help for Heroes’ Paralympic pathway, said: ‘This is a fantastic result for Micky ahead of the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016.
‘Sport is a huge part of the recovery journey for an individual, providing a sense of purpose to achieve.
‘Micky has a huge amount of talent. We’re delighted to support him and can’t wait to see him progress further.’
About 150 athletes from 25 countries took part in championships, which were organised by the Hungarian National Paralympic Committee and took place in the Hotel Eger and Park.