Smith on course for Olympic place

26 May 2012 / 19:26

Zoe Smith all but booked her place at this summer's Olympic Games with a commanding performance at the British Senior Weightlifting Championships.

The 18-year-old set a new personal best, beating all three of her own British Under-23 records in the process, with a total lift of 211kg - 94kg snatch and 117kg clean and jerk.

It was enough to clinch the Olympic qualifying A standard in the 63kg weight category, the second time Smith has done so although her other A-grade performance came at 58kg in April's European Championships in Turkey.

Athletes will only be considered if they hit the specified A standard twice or B standard once in the same weight category, with this event the final opportunity for qualification before the weightlifting squad for the Games is announced by the BOA on June 11.

Two women and three men will be selected as part of Team GB in London, and Greenwich-born Smith - the only lifter to hit A standard at all - believes she has done enough to be there. But the 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist is refusing to rest on her laurels.

"Realistically, if I went into the 58kg category with a 211kg total, it's not going to win medals," Smith said. "So I'm going to use the next couple of months to really work hard, maybe even put another five kilos on each lift, maybe more. I'm just obviously going to do as much as I can because I really want to be lifting some big weights come the Games."

Although Smith looks to have secured her place at London 2012, the remaining four spots are very much up for grabs after a day of mixed emotions in Derbyshire.

Jo Calvino and Emily Godley each hit B standard for the second time but experienced lifter Natasha Perdue suffered huge disappointment in the women's 69kg category, having failed to register a total after three no lifts in the clean and jerk, although she did claim B standard at the European Championships.

In they's men's competition, Commonwealth Games silver medallist Peter Kirkbride and Gareth Evans registered B standard for a second time, while Halil Zorba and surprise candidate Shaun Clegg also hit it for the first time.

But, like Perdue, there was disappointment for Jack Oliver after he failed all three snatch attempts to crash out of the 77kg weight category, although he does have one B standard lift to fall back on.