A PAIR of strongmen are set to test their might against some of the best in the world after qualifying for an international event next year.

Friends and training partners Dale McPherson and Ben Williams will be heading to Australia's Gold Coast next May after successfully powering their way into the finals of the Static Monsters contest.

The 25-year-olds, who train at Mr McPherson's 3D Strength Gym in Darlington, are hoping to conquer the world when they travel to Oz to take on competitors from countries as diverse as Canada, Brunei, New Zealand, Malaysia and Sweden.

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Mr Williams said: "Earlier on in the year an opportunity arose to compete in a competition down in Morecambe which was part of an Australian federation called Static Monsters.

"The same competition was happening at the same time in more than ten countries across the world with more than 400 competitors, with all different weight classes were divided out and the top ten from each qualified for the finals.

"Dale came first in his weight category and I managed to secure sixth place and we are both going to be competing in Australia next year with a case of winning the Static Monster World Championships."

The pair will be flexing their muscles in the Gold Coast Arts Centre in front of up to1,100 people when they compete next May.

Mr McPherson finished in first place in the under 90kg categories in the UK trials while Mr Williams qualified after finishing in sixth place in his weight category.

Mr McPherson, who has been running his gym for more than three years, said: "We are both confident, we have a lot of training to do first though – let's get Christmas out of the way first and then we will plan from there and see where we go."

Before the pair head to Australia, they will be taking part in another competition in South Shields where they we compete together.