Oliver shines after rude awakening

01 August 2012 / 17:51

Jack Oliver was awoken by the roar of the ExCeL crowd to make a lift he did not know he had in him after sleeping through his alarm ahead of his Olympic weightlifting bow.

The 21-year-old from Bexleyheath continued the fine form of Team GB's weightlifting squad as he recorded another personal best in London, although Natasha Perdue could not quite manage it herself despite bravely battling through a worrying leg spasm to record a total.

Both were competing in B groups, of the men's 77kg and women's 69kg respectively, and can expect to finish outside the top 10 places when the elite A group lifters take to the stage.

Yet Oliver reserved the best lifts of his fledgling career for the 2012 Games, achieving his aims coming into the competition, and it included a monster final clean and jerk of 170kg - five kilos heavier than his previous best - to set a new PB total of 310kg.

"I've never felt that good. When I got that last lift I couldn't believe it," he said. "I feel incredible. An amazing, amazing crowd. I don't know where that last clean and jerk came from, I've never done that before, it's a five-kilo PB.

"The crowd added the five kilos, and the rest. My last lift in the warm-up room was 152kg and I barely got it! I came out at 160kg and no problems, it was like doing 130kg in the warm-up room, there's the difference."

It may have been a successful end to the morning for Oliver, but it certainly did not start that way.

"I was meant to get up at 6am to go downstairs and have a nice pre weigh-in, a shower, bit of a stretch like normal," he revealed.

"But at 7.05am I heard banging on the door, I looked at my phone and thought 'Oh I'm in trouble, I'm going to have a very angry coach'.

"He saw me and just said, 'get ready'. Luckily, I had laid out all my stuff last night, got dressed in 30 seconds and ran downstairs to stop him being too angry. To be fair, I was still here before weigh-in time."