TALENTED teenaged weight lifter Zoe Smith became the first English woman to win a Commonwealth Games medal when she secured bronze in the 58kg category on Tuesday.
Smith, 16 and from London, competed against several experienced lifters in her first senior international and was the youngest lifter in her group by two years.
A nervous start saw her fail to lift 80kg in her opening snatch, but she was successful at the same weight on her second attempt before finishing with a superb 85kg which was a personal best and put her into second spot.
She opened the clean and jerk with 103kg, and although she twice missed out on 108kg in her final two lifts, her combined 188kg was good enough to secure a medal.
“I had high expectations,” she admitted afterwards. “There’s no point turning up otherwise, and I was so nervous I was shaking. It’s not the gold but I don’t care - I’ve won a medal at the Commonwealth Games, it’s still amazing and it hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
Experience Commonwealth Games campaigner Andy Callard, her coach, added: “She was nervous, it was her first major championship and people were expecting a lot from her.
“We are very happy that we ended up getting a result. We’ve got a young team and Zoe’s done really well for us.”
In the same event, Devon-based Helen Jewell came ninth after lifting 77kg in the snatch and 93kg in the clean and jerk. India’s Renu Yumnam took gold with 197kg, while Australia’s Seen Lee was second.
photos Janos Schmidt