With just 45 days to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympics, the British Olympic Association (BOA) has announced five weightlifters as officially selected to compete for Team GB at the Games.
They represent the largest contingent of weightlifters Team GB has taken to an Olympics Games since Barcelona 1996, when there were six British weightlifters.
All five athletes will be competing at their first Olympic Games in London, which takes place at the ExCeL Arena in London Docklands from 28 July to 7 August.
In the women’s selection, Swansea born Natasha Perdue has been chosen, who was formerly a national Karate Champion before switching to weightlifting.
Natasha has had to combine her full-time training regime with her day job at the refuse department of Leeds City Council in the build up to the Games and following the selection she said, “I can’t describe in words how happy I feel and I keep pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.
“I waited two weeks for the call, and when it came I didn’t want to answer it in case it was bad news. I asked them to repeat it about three times just to make sure!”
And joining her in the women’s line up is 18-year-old Zoe Smith (pictured) who is the youngest member of the team.
Originally a gymnast, she switched to weightlifting aged 13 and has since broken youth, junior and senior records on her way to Olympic selection, as well as claiming bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games at just 16 years old.
She said, “I’m elated to have been selected for the team. It has been a nerve-wracking period ahead of selection, so I’m glad that I’ve now secured my place and can definitely say I’ll be representing Team GB at the Games!”
Natasha Perdue – Women’s 69kg
Zoe Smith – Women’s 58kg
Gareth Evans – Men’s 69kg
Peter Kirkbride – Men’s 94kg
Jack Oliver – Men’s 77kg
Lizzie Flint, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine