BRITISH Weight Lifting today reinstated Commonwealth Bronze medallist Zoe Smith’s funding, following the temporary suspension put in place in December. The decision was made by the governing body’s Performance Management Group, who noted that Zoe had made ‘a number of positive changes’ since December.
The decision came in the wake of a powerful performance from Zoe at the Tri-Nations tournament in Norway earlier this month, where she achieved six out of six explosive lifts to finish second, having only recently recovered from injury.
A dispute grew between the governing body and Zoe over her commitment to a structured training programme and failure to stabilise her bodyweight so that she could compete in her elected category.
Speaking about the PMG’s decision to lift the suspension, Zoe said: “I am so pleased to hear that what I consider to be the right decision has been reached.
“I have ensured over the last two months that I have met the requests of the governing body in terms of submission of my training diaries and personal contact with them. But in terms of training, performance and commitment to my sport, I have never, at any point, shown a drop in my enthusiasm or dedication to succeed.”
Zoe confessed “It has been a really difficult time. I’ve had to balance the pressures of both school and training with the huge amount of media interest.”
“I’d like to thank everyone who showed me support throughout the period in which my funding was suspended, for genuinely helping me to get through it. The kindness of the public has been heart-warming and I’m now even more determined to succeed in my sport and represent my country to the best of my ability to say thank you to everyone who has shown that belief in me.”
And Fiona Lothian, BWL Performance Manager commented: “I am pleased with the progress Zoe has made since Christmas, she is adhering to a structured programme and her training is back on track.”
photos Janos Schmidt