Teen girl Zoe Smith is Britains hope for weightlifting success at 2012 Olympics

January 6th, 2009 - 1:32 pm ICT by ANI  

London, January 6 (ANI): A 14-year-old girl from southeast London has raised Britains hopes of marvellous success in weightlifting during the Olympics in 2012, for she has smashed almost every national record in the country.
Zoe Smith had earned herself the tag of Britains strongest girl last year, when she lifted three times her own nine-stone bodyweight.
And now the British Olympic Association has named her Athlete of the Year in her sport.
With this, she has joined the likes of Sir Chris Hoy, the newly knighted triple Olympic cycling champion, and Andy Murray, Britain’’s top-ranked tennis player, who received the award in their respective sports.
To say I was shocked is a bit of an understatement. Seeing my name on a list as an equal alongside all the big names from this years Olympics was unbelievable. At first I thought there might have been some mistake and was a bit nervous about telling anyone. I was amazingly happy when it sunk in that it was true, Times Online quoted her as saying.
Zoe could not compete in Beijing because she was too young to be eligible for that the age requirement for Olympic weightlifting is 16.
She is now bound for the 2012 Games after shooting to the top of her sport two years after switching from gymnastics.
The 5ft 2in girl started weightlifting at the age of 12, when she was asked to make up the numbers in a team for the London Youth Games in July 2006.
She set 98 British records last year, and won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Poona, India, in October.
She holds every junior and senior record in the 53kg weight category, except the clean and jerk a two-part movement of the barbell.
Having moved up to the 58kg category, Zoe now holds every record available to under18 girls. Her heaviest competitive lift to date is 90kg in the clean and jerk.
Zoes mother Niki has revealed that her daughter had been exceptionally strong right from her childhood.
She was climbing up door frames as a baby and was great on the monkey bars, she said. (ANI)

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