Strongwoman Gemma aims to lift world crown

A STRONGWOMAN originally from Bagby, near Thirsk, is bidding to become a world champion on Sunday.

Gemma Taylor, who successfully defended her Britain’s Strongest Woman crown earlier this year, is competing in the World’s Strongest Woman competition near Poznan.

“I am feeling very strong and fit and I hope to take the title this year,” said Gemma, who came second last year.

She has now moved to Iceland to train with her boyfriend, Benedikt Magnusson, who is himself one of the world’s strongest men.

“Training with Benedikt has not only improved my overall strength but has changed my attitude towards competing,” said Gemma.

Sunday’s test of strength includes an 80-85kg farmer’s walk for distance, a 150kg shield walk, Hercules' hold (using two cars) and a 180kg deadlift for reps.

Among her opponents are three-times World’s Strongest Woman Aneta Florcyzk, from Poland, world powerlifting champion Alexandra Murasheva from Russia, and Julie Dunkerly, a Commonwealth Games competitor, who was placed second to Gemma at this year’s Britain’s Strongest Woman.

Gemma added: “There are eight events on one day and it really is the best of the best competing; eight girls from over the planet.

“I have trained specifically for each separate event. It is without a doubt the heaviest and hardest female strong woman competition there has ever been.

“This competition is of the highest standard so it will be tough but I am going to do more than my best to bring home the world title for Britain!"

She has been sponsored by, for whom she recently starred in their first feature film, Six Bend Trap, a black comedy about the murky world of greyhound racing – in which she played Pearl Metcalf, daughter of gangster Gordy Metcalf.

An accomplished singer, she has also appeared on ITV ’s Stars In Their Eyes as Alison Moyet.