Zoe Smith admits that the Rio 2016 Olympics will be at the forefront of her mind in Kazakhstan at the World Weightlifting Championships.
Smith burst into the nation’s consciousness when she claimed women’s 58kg bronze from the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi aged just 16.
But while she upgraded that medal to gold this summer in Glasgow, having also claimed European bronze this year, Smith has found the going tougher on the world stage.
The 20-year-old is hopeful all that will change this month as she is one of seven women selected as part of Britain’s 10-strong team for the World Championships in Kazakhstan.
And Smith insists that having the added incentive of securing Britain quota places for the 2016 Olympics in Rio is just the boost she needs to turn her fortunes around.
“At the Commonwealths we are one of the stronger nations where as on the World Championship stage we are not so strong,” she said.
“So no one is expecting to medal but it is important to go there and perform as best as we can to move our world ranking up to the highest point it can be so we can book qualifying spots for Rio.”
And Smith’s thoughts are echoed by 18-year-old Mercy Brown who will make her debut at a senior World Championships when action gets underway in Kazakhstan.
“I’m excited to compete against people I look up to,” Brown said. “I am looking forward to helping the team qualify some Olympic spots.
“We are hoping to get two spots and that will be a first for the British team.”
© Sportsbeat 2014