Janni ready to take on the world in Kettlebell

Janni Sam.
Janni Sam.

An athlete from Ovenden is taking part in the Kettlebell World Championships next month.

Kettlebell lifting is described as endurance weightlifting and it will be the second time Janni Sam, 38, will be taking part in the World Championships, having won a bronze medal in last year’s event.

She has also won gold, silver and bronze medals in UK events.

She said: “It’s basically a big metal ball on a long handle.

“There are different weights and different styles of lifting - the long cycle, the snatch and the jerk, and you can lift one or two balls.

“I do the long cycle, which involves me swinging it between my legs, pulling it up to my chest and lifting it above my head, and you’re not allowed to put it down.

“You keep going for 10 minutes, so it’s not easy, and it’s not for everyone. But it’s good fun.

“Most people, when they put the bell down after 10 minutes, will collapse on the floor.

“If you haven’t, you haven’t pushed hard enough.

“It’s gruelling. It takes a while to build up to going 10 minutes.”

Janni is a maths teacher at University Technical College Leeds, and has a daughter Maggie, five.

“It will be the first time I’ll have lifted at this level,” added Janni.

“I didn’t think I would get anything last year but I got a bronze.

“Technically I wasn’t good enough initially, so some of my reps didn’t count to the final total.

“At my last competition in Wales I did 60 reps, and I’m hoping for 70 in Milan.

“You don’t really know if what you plan to do will be enough.

“If you go too fast, your technique suffers, but you can only do what you can do.”

The World Championships take place in Milan from June 21-24. There will be 600 competitors in total, and around 20 in Janni’s category.