Tiler ready to inspire sisters in family bid for Olympic glory

Tiler ready to inspire sisters in family bid for Olympic glory

10 August 2016 / 10:00
Rebekah Tiler insists she has no regrets after switching her sporting focus from sprinting to weightlifting.

The 17-year old will make her Olympic debut in the women's 69kg this afternoon, a selection she secured after breaking two national records at this summer’s British Championships.

Even a big improvement on those bests - 102kg in the snatch and 227kg overall - shouldn’t put her near the medals.

But the teenager is playing a long game. Rio is all about learning, future Games will be about erasing Launceston Elliot from the record books, the last Brit to win weighlifting gold in 1986.

“I actually started off as a sprinter when I was ten years old and one of the sprinting coaches took me to a gym to help me improve my speed,” said Tiler.

“They were trying to make me stronger, so I was doing a lot of weights and squatting. Some of the weightlifting coaches at the gym recognised how strong I was and were saying ‘wow, you’re beating all these lads and you’re only 12 years old!’

“They said I could be world-class if I took up weightlifting, so a couple of months later I started and just carried on from there really.

“In a way it was a hard decision to switch from sprinting but it was definitely a good one because I was stronger than I was fast.”

Tiler obviously has strongwoman’s genes, perhaps from her bodybuilder father. She claims to have walked at nine months, about the same time she was doing chin-ups on the kitchen table.

And Tiler might not be the only Olympian in the family, two of her younger sisters are British champions and the third, aged just seven, is now itching to learn.

“People joke we are the strongest family in Britain,” she adds.

“Who knows perhaps we might all be able to go to the Olympics in 2024. That would be amazing.”

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