POWERLIFTING champion Rowan Hendry-Horne says she was “astounded” after walking away with two Commonwealth titles.

The Dunfermline athlete, a bench press bronze medallist at the event two years ago, struck gold in both the powerlifting and bench-only competitions at the Commonwealth Powerlifting and Bench Press Championships in South Africa.

Rowan, who first picked up a barbell in 2013 in a bid to lose weight before venturing into competitive powerlifting a year later, was part of a 26-strong Scotland squad after she won the Scottish Powerlifting Classic Championships in May at 63kg.

That success came after a year of illness and injury – which included a bout of chronic fatigue that left her confined to bed for a month – and, having decided to move up a weight class, she said her goal was to finish in the top 10 overall.

But, in the 72kg class, lifts of 137.5kg in the squat (gold), 85kg on the bench (gold) and 150kg in the deadlift (bronze) gave her a gold-winning total of 372.5kg in the women’s classic event while she also took the title in the bench-only competition.

Speaking to Press Sport, an elated Rowan said: “I couldn’t believe it when I won – I just kept on squeaking!

“There were a few drop outs so I was hoping to come second or third, but I didn’t expect to finish first, although I had a good run before it.

“I won the Scottish bench championships a couple of weeks before South Africa so I did feel really good going into it. My coach had been working on resolving issues but I was going up a weight class, so I’m astounded at how I did.

“I went into it feeling relaxed and that was the best possible mindset for me; I perform best when I’m happy.

“There was another girl in the full powerlifting competition that I was convinced was miles ahead so that made me push really hard.

“It has been a tough couple of years with injuries. My coach has helped me fix a lot of problems and build my confidence, which is important because if you don’t think you can do it then you probably won’t.

“In terms of my own performance, I’m as happy as I’ve ever been with how I did, but I always want to do better.

“It’s given me more confidence going into next year.”

British classic and bench championships await next year and Rowan, who helped coach some of her team-mates to medals, added: “That’s the next big goal at the end of February and it was good to walk away having done really well but knowing there’s more to come from me.

“Watching someone you’ve coached on the day win a gold medal, especially when they run off the stage and give you a big hug, does make you feel good too!”