Countdown to Rio: Weightlifter Zoe Smith

Countdown to Rio: Weightlifter Zoe Smith

08 August 2014 / 10:10

Home nations enjoyed their most successful Commonwealth Games ever in Glasgow. But who were the stars of the Games, whose targets have now been reset on the road to Rio - with the Olympics just two years away?

It didn't take long for Zoe Smith's thoughts to turn to Rio after striking Glasgow gold.

The pressure was on the 20-year-old to update her bronze from Delhi in weightlifting's 58kg category.

Fuelled by a last minute chocolate binge, after battling to make the weight, she set a new Commonwealth Games record of 210kg.

But she acknowledges an improvement is needed. Smith finished 12th at London 2012 but the winner, China's Li Xueying, lifted 246kg.

To make the podium, Smith would have needed to hoist 235kg - and she knows that's a big ask with the countdown to Rio gathering momemtum.

"This has been a long time coming – I've had a thousand conversations and thoughts about the Commonwealth Games and now I'm glad the gold is hanging round my neck," she said.

"I knew I was able to do it but getting it on the day was another thing and having it over my head and getting the sound signal was the biggest wave of relief I've ever felt.

"I want to be a contender in Rio – I want to be in the running. I need to give it more work yet because a 210 total isn't going to win me a medal there but I think I've got what it takes to keep going.

"I've been through an emotional rollercoaster and it amazes me when people call me an inspiration. To me I'm still just the 12 year old girl who walked into a gym eight years ago because she wasn't very good at gymnastics."

Other stars of Glasgow 2014 looking to travel on the road to Rio

Ross Murdoch (Swimming)

Claudia Fragapane (Gymnastics

Matthew Hudson-Smith (Athletics)

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