Focus on Rio as GB weightlifting team named for Euro Champs

Commonwealth Games champion Zoe Smith will lead a 14-strong team at this year’s European Weightlifting Championships as the race to qualify places at Rio 2016 hots up.

The European Championships, taking place in Forde, Norway from April 10-16, represent the final chance for British athletes to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games.

A maximum of one male and one female place is available if sufficient team points are secured, with the men’s team needing to finish in the top seven and the females in the top six of those countries who have not already qualified to secure an individual place.

Hopes will be high following a strong World Championships in which Smith broke two British records on the way to a ninth-place finish in Houston.

The 21-year-old is one of seven females on the team which also includes 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games champion Rebekah Tiler.

Seven male lifters will also make the trip, with Jack Oliver, like Smith, having appeared at London 2012.

British Weight Lifting Performance Director Tommy Yule said: “Qualification for this summer’s Olympic Games remains extremely competitive, such is the standard of Europe’s top athletes.

“Our elite lifters have proven themselves more than up to the challenge however, and have a terrific opportunity in Norway to seal Olympic qualification.

“The whole team remains very motivated and focused on making this happen, building on what was a fantastic year of competition in 2015 capped off by the best World Championships performance in more than ten years and we aim to emulate this on the European stage next month.”

Sportsbeat 2016