A TEENAGE weightlifter has lifted the title of North West Young Sportsperson of the Year.

Andreas Michaelas, of Stand Lane, Radcliffe, scooped the title after competing against 400 others in the OCS company-sponsored competition. He will now travel to London in December to collect his £2,500 prize from sports minister Richard Caborn when he will find out if he has won the national title.

Andreas (16) said: "I was shocked and delighted when I found out that I had won. I mostly train in the cellar of my home, so I would like to use the sponsorship money to purchase a new Olympic bar and weights which will help my training."

Andreas is already the British Weightlifting Champion in his age group and holds records in both Britain and Austria.

He began weightlifting in his father's greenhouse before moving to the cellar. The teenager trains twice a week at the gym and regularly competes in Europe as part of the Great Britain youth squad.

He is now training to compete in the Youth Commonwealth Games in Melbourne this November and hopes to bring home the gold medal at the European Championships in 2005.

Chris Cracknell, chief executive of OCS, said: "Choosing each of the regional winners was a tough challenge as the quality of entries was extremely high."