A SOUTH Lakeland man has become this year’s youngest competitor for the World’s Strongest Man.

Jack McIntosh, 23, flies out to North Carolina on Monday as he attempts to become the first British winner of the crown since Gary Taylor in 1993.

Jack, who lives with his family in Sedgwick, has won events in Finland and Northern Ireland in the past year, and has been invited to attend the qualifiers next week.

But the six foot four, 21 stone man has not always harboured an ambition to be crowned the strongest man in the world.

“I used to watch it on TV but I was more into rugby and I used to play a lot.

“We moved to Sedgwick from Kirkby Stephen around four years ago and then I started going to the gym more and lost a lot of weight. It was about five stone I lost, just purely through going to the gym.

“I was doing some lifts one day and someone said that I should go for strongman events because I had a really strong back.”

Jack said that he went to a show in Lancaster, and his attraction to the competition grew. He was 19 when he entered his first show in Manchester, where he finished second.

“That was when I became hooked to it,” Jack says.

“All the other competitors help each other out and everyone’s supportive. Of course there’s some rivalry but it’s like a brotherhood.

“I was gobsmacked when I was invited to the qualifiers and I text everyone in my phone when I found out.”

With the biggest event of his career coming up, he is performing lighter lifts at gyms in Manchester, Lancaster and Kendal, and will be seeing his physio in Staveley to ensure he is in peak physical condition.

His diet of 15 scrambled eggs every morning, 11 without the yolks, has also remained untouched as he keeps up his protein levels. He says he also eats every three hours and drinks regular protein shakes to maintain his body’s energy.

The qualifiers for the World’s Strongest Man takes place from Thursday, September 15 to Sunday, September 18, where competitors take on disciplines such as the truck pull, the car deadlift, the giant dumbell press and the keg toss.

In the days before that, Jack will be going through medicals and press interviews at Wingate University, where the competition is being held.

Successful qualifiers move onto the finals which is held on Wednesday, September 21 and Thursday, September 22.

The event will be shown on Channel 5 at around Christmas time.