Proud Kirkbride defies injury

04 August 2012 / 20:42

British weightlifter Peter Kirkbride insists quitting never crossed his mind as he battled through a torn bicep to become an Olympian.

The 24-year-old from Kilmarnock finished seventh in the B group of the men's 94kg at ExCeL and is guaranteed to secure at least a top-17 spot as the 10 A group lifters prepare to take to the stage. But the fact the Scot even managed to record a total at all is testament to his determination after sustaining the arm injury in only his second snatch attempt.

Amazingly, having suffered the minor tear, he went on to post a new personal best in the clean and jerk and his finest total (328kg) for two years.

"In the second snatch I used too much of my power, causing it to go behind me, tearing my bicep," said Kirkbride, holding an ice pack to the sore area. "And then again, the pain was even stronger in the third snatch.

"I was a wee bit worried at first, obviously, but I was never not going to finish."

He added: "I didn't feel the pain, I just wanted to finish the competition. Obviously my friends and family were here to watch me. I was determined to do it for my family, my friends and coach."

Kirkbride, Commonwealth Games silver medallist in 2010, was eager to make the most of the occasion, lapping up his reception when the lifters were introduced to a receptive ExCeL crowd and cranking up the atmosphere further following a routine opening snatch of 138kg.

But the Scot's body language soon changed after he failed his second snatch at 142kg, sustaining injury as the bar dropped behind him and his left arm twisted.

It was troublesome enough to cause an agonised Kirkbride to drop his third and final attempt at 142kg, leaving him some way behind his snatch best of 150kg recorded in Minsk 2010.

There was a joint sigh of relief and roar of approval as he emerged after the interval to comfortably raise his first clean and jerk of 180kg and record a total. But Kirkbride was not finished there, easily lifting 185kg - followed by a celebratory shimmy - and then 190kg.