A CROSS Hands powerlifter has been crowned the best in the world at the World Championships in Florida.

Owain Tobias, 23, was representing Great Britain in the WPC World Championships, where he took gold last month.

Owain was invited to compete after winning the British Powerlifiting Championships, at the Bodypower Expo.

However, despite being a dream for Owain, he came close to tearing up the invite until a number of local businesses and residents stepped in to help.

Owain explained: “There was no way I could afford it. The flights, the accommodation, the equipment, everything would have been too much.”

Support for Owain, who trains at Evolution Health and Fitness Centre, came flooding in to help him live his dream.

“The owner of Rugby Warfare clothing, Scott Flear, kindly sponsored me and set me up with all the necessary equipment.

“There are so many people to thank. I can’t express how grateful I am.”

Rugby Warfare, Penygroes Service Centre, Black Mountain Signs and CEMB Prints were all involved in sponsoring Owain among others.

A number of personal donations were also received, and to say thank you for them, Owain has been fundraising for eight charities as he prepares to compete, including Autism Speaks.

Owain works at Go Life Protet Ltd in Carmarthen, and it was his boss, Andrew Clark, who came up with the idea of getting sponsorship.

Owain added: “He has made my dream become a reality in becoming a world champion and representing my country.

“As well as Andrew, I certainly wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for family and friends showing their support. My grandfather has been behind me since day one of my powerlifting journey in 2015.

“He, along with my mother, grandmother and brother, as well as my girlfriend, Gwennan, who has recently become British and World Champion in her own category.”