Oliver turns hands to coaching

13 July 2012 / 15:09

Weightlifter Jack Oliver may only be only 21 years old, but he is heading into the Olympic Games with coaching experience already under his belt.

Oliver, from Bexleyheath, is the youngest of Team GB's three male lifters in London and will compete in the men's 77kg weight category at ExCeL on August 1. Despite his years, Oliver is already starting to appreciate training regimes from the viewpoint of head coach Tamas Feher, having turned his own hand to mentoring girlfriend Sarah Davies

And Oliver is proving just as handy from the sidelines as he is on the platform, guiding Davies from novice to third place in May's British Senior Championships in the space of just eight months.

He said: "My girlfriend was a gymnast and she stopped doing gymnastics. I said to her if you want to have a go at weightlifting then try it out, and she started improving a whole lot quicker than I thought. She's been training really well, and it's quite nice to do a bit of coaching and see things from the other side.

"It's definitely harder than I thought and I think I've got a lot more respect for people who have coached me in the past and now, obviously, Tamas, who has to put up with us when we're in a bad mood in training. I've learned a lot from doing it and I really enjoy it. When I've finished lifting I'd like to coach so why not get started now."

Britain's five-strong squad of lifters, the largest since Barcelona 1992, are in buoyant and confident mood heading into London 2012, despite each preparing for what will be their first Games.

Oliver, Gareth Evans, Peter Kirkbride, Zoe Smith and Natasha Perdue went through the kitting out process in Loughborough earlier this week, another step which brings home how close the worldwide spectacle now is. And with two weeks to go until the action gets under way, Welshman Evans, 26, is hitting new heights in the gym.

"Training's been going really, really well lately," He said. "I'm really starting to find some form just at a good time.

"Weights that I was just about doing for singles before the British Championships, I'm doing for doubles in the gym now.

"I'm throwing personal bests around the place for doubles and training has just started to go into the case where we're doing big singles now. So hopefully in the next week or two we'll have some more personal bests to be pushing up on the platform at the Games."