Smith feeling good ahead of home Games

10 July 2012 / 17:57

Zoe Smith is in confident mood heading into the Olympics having hit peak physical fitness in training at just the right time.

The talented 18-year-old weightlifter, bronze medallist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, will compete in her first Games at ExCeL in London - with the women's 58kg weight category due to take place on July 30.

Greenwich-born Smith put in a personal-best performance at last month's British Senior Championships, beating all three of her own British Under-23 records with a snatch of 94kg and clean and jerk of 117kg. And as she picked up all her Olympic kit in Loughborough on Tuesday, she told Press Association Sport she is on course to top that showing.

"Training's going surprisingly well, I've had a couple of little niggling injuries but it's nothing that's set me back," she said. "I'm a little bit scared about how well it's going. This isn't normal.

"I'm lifting personal bests in training, I clean and jerked 120kg the other day which is my personal best by three kilos. In the snatch I'm doing sets of 90kg, my previous best was 94kg, so there's so much more in the tank it's unbelievable. I could really do myself justice on the day, I'm now thinking."

Smith is one of a five-strong team of weightlifters who will be part of Team GB - the largest number of lifters from these shores to have gone to a Games since Barcelona 1992.

Britain have enjoyed limited success in the Olympic event over recent years, with David Mercer the last Briton to claim a medal when he took bronze in Los Angeles 1984.

Peter Kirkbride, from Kilmarnock, tasted success at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi two years ago, taking away a silver medal in the men's 94kg weight category. And the 24-year-old Scot hopes to benefit from the taste of top-level competition.

"Hopefully I can use my experience to some extent, use memories of how it felt to be up there and implicate some good lifts and new personal bests," he said. "I just want to go there and do the best I can, you can't ask any more than that, whatever happens happens.

"Weightlifting's a beautiful or an ugly sport so hopefully it's beautiful on August 4 for me."