England Commonwealth Trials: play by play
On the 24 April, 34 incredible athletes took to the platform at Brunel University to try and secure a spot on the England Commonwealth training squad, in anticipation of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Talent transfer category
The day kicked off with a group of talent transfer athletes taking to the stage for the first time. These athletes have only been lifting for 4 months, after attending a UK Sport event and being identified as weightlifting potential. The athletes have been coached by Emily Muskett GB Olympian, BWL Talent Lead, and Commonwealth & European champion.
The session was a great watch, and there were only 2 no lifts out of 54 attempts on the platform. The session ran as one mixed group, with the 4 males sharing the platform with the 5 female athletes.
All athletes posted totals, and British Weight Lifting would like to congratulate all involved in the talent transfer process, and we are excited to see the progression over the coming months.
Women’s lightweight category
Following the talent transfer group, the women’s lightweight category took to the platform. This category spanned the women’s 49kg – 64kg women and compromised of 6 of England’s top ranked plus Sky Norris representing Jamaica to give the athletes some extra challenge.
Tammy Wong (49kg) was the first to hit the platform, opening at 60kg. Unfortunately, after 3 failed attempts at this weight, Tammy did not make a total in the competition.
Noorin Gulam (49kg) had a fantastic day in the office and set the tone for the competition with a 66kg opener and followed herself for her second and third snatches, 69kg and 71kg respectively. Noorin opened with a clean and jerk at 84kg, jumping to 87kg and then 89kg. Noorin went 6 for 6 and set triple British senior records in the 49kg category: 71kg snatch, 89kg clean and jerk, and a 160kg total.
Sky Norris (55kg) totalled 168kg, after going 3 for 3 on snatches with a best of 77kg. Sky opened her clean and jerks at 86kg, failed her second clean and jerk at 90kg, then came out 1kg heavier for a successful third attempt.
Jess Gordon-Brown (59kg) put up an immense total of 202kg after a successful third snatch at 91kg, a weight she narrowly missed in her second attempt and went 3 for 3 on her clean and jerk, opening at 106kg, jumping to 109kg, and finishing on 111kg.
Jenny Tong (64kg) and Zoe Smith (64kg) both opened at 82kg. Jenny took the attempt first, and after receiving the bar narrowly lost the barbell backwards. This brought out Zoe, who missed the attempt after failing to secure overhead. Zoe came out next to attempt the same weight, making a successful attempt. Jenny added a kilo to come out for a successful second attempt. Zoe finished on an easy 85kg snatch. Jenny came out for an 87kg attempt and after a little duck walk, just missed out on standing up the weight.
Jenny opened her clean and jerks with an easy 100kg. Zoe added 5kg to this for her successful opener. Jenny had a missed attempt at 105kg, and then added 3kg for a third failed attempt at 108kg giving her a 183kg total. Zoe made a successful second attempt at 111kg, and then finished on 116kg which was initially white lighted but was then overturned by the jury which gave her a 196kg total.
Men’s lightweight category
The men’s lightweight category spanned the 55kg to 73kg categories and included 8 of England’s top ranked lifters.
Ben Hickling (55kg) went 3 for 3 on snatches, with a best of 96kg, he opened his clean and jerk at 110kg, and made a successful second attempt at 115kg to total 211kg.
Kieran Stiles (61kg) opened his snatches at 92kg and took his second and third attempt to succeed with 95kg. He has a best clean and jerk of 119kg to total 214kg.
Yegeun Ji (61kg) opened at 88kg, 4kg below Kieron, but made headway with a successful 92kg snatch, narrowly missing out on a third attempt of 95kg. Yegeun’s best clean and jerk was 118kg, which gave him a 210kg total.
The men’s 67kg competitors certainly gave us a show with a very close battle.
The first to come out was Jaswant Shergill with a 110kg snatch opener. Rooni Siraj followed with a successful 112kg, and Chris Freebury was to follow with a successful 113kg. On the second attempts, Jaswant took a 5kg jump for a successful 115kg, and Rooni followed with 116kg. This brought out Chris on 117kg to maintain his lead, which he unfortunately missed out front. Jaswant was next with a nail-biting save for a third and final attempt at 117kg. Chris came out to attempt the weight again- narrowly missing it behind. Rooni concluded the snatch with a successful 119kg attempt.
In the clean and jerk, Chris was first out with a successful 135kg. Jaswant opened 5kg heavier, and Rooni came out to match this 140kg attempt. Chris followed this, attempting 140kg twice, but missed both attempts which gave him a 248kg total. Rooni made a 5kg jump to 145kg, but just missed his jerk at the last second. This brought out Jaswant on a huge 8kg jump at 148kg, which he missed, but followed himself for a successful third attempt which gave him a 265kg total. Rooni then came out for his third attempt at 149kg and after an easy clean, he missed the jerk which ended him on a total of 259kg.
Jon Chin (73kg) opened his snatch on 125kg, and after missing it twice, came out to a tense crowd as he succeeded in this third attempt at the weight. Unfortunately, Jon missed his clean and jerks at 172kg which left him without a total.
Jack Oliver (73kg) missed his snatch opener at 130kg, but made it on his second attempt, and added 5kg for a third successful snatch. Jack opened clean and jerks at 155kg and took two attempts to succeed with 161kg which ended him on a 296kg total.
Women’s heavyweight category
The women’s heavyweight group compromised of the 71kg to 87+kg category and had 8 competitors. This was another incredibly close group and had the crowd on the edge of their seats to see who would total the most.
To begin, the bar was loaded at 88kg to bring out Nicola Stiddard (87kg) for a successful attempt. Erin Barton (71kg) was second to attempt this weight and missed it behind after a walk forward. This brought out Emily Sweeney (87kg), who made the lift, then Sarah Wiltshire (87kg) for a successful opener. Erin then came out to attempt the weight again, and missed again, and the crowd fell silent when Erin came out and made a successful third attempt.
Katrina Feklistova (76kg) opened on a good lift of 89kg and Emma McCready (87kg) added a kilo for a successful 90kg opener. Nicola’s second attempt saw her miss 90kg, which then brought out Debbie Alawode (76kg) on a 91kg opener and then Emily came out for a successful second attempt, followed by Sarah for another successful lift at this weight. This brought out Nicola for her third attempt which was successful at 91kg.
The bar went up to 92kg for Leah Clark’s (87+kg) opener, which she missed in front. Katrina attempted this weight for a successful second attempt, and so did Emma who both made light work of this weight. Leah then came out to attempt again and made a good lift with a very solid receive position.
Emily Sweeney took her third snatch at 93kg for a good lift, the bar stayed the same to bring out Sarah for her successful third attempt.
Debbie then came out for her second attempt at 94kg, missing behind. This brought out Katrina on the same weight for her third and final successful lift. Emma also took her third attempt at this weight missing the bar behind. The bar remained the same for Debbie’s third attempt which was a success. Leah then concluded the snatches with a successful 95kg.
Sarah kicked off the clean and jerks with a successful 110kg, she went on to miss her next attempts, which ended her on a total of 203kg.
Emily came out to open at 111kg, and went 3 for 3, finishing on 117kg which gave her a 210kg total and a fantastic 6 out of 6 result.
Erin opened clean and jerks at 112kg, then made a 5kg jump for a second good lift of 117kg. Erin missed her final attempt at 120kg, which left her with a total of 205kg.
Katrina opened at a successful 114kg and went on to miss her second and third attempts, which gave her a 208kg total.
Emma also opened at 114kg and after making the clean, just lost the jerk in front. The crowd was behind her as she attempted her second and third attempts, but after 3 solid cleans, no jerks were made, leaving her without a total.
Nicola added a kilo to the bar to open at 115kg and missed her second and third attempts to total 206kg.
Debbie opened at 117kg and after missing her second and thirds attempts, totalled 211kg.
Leah opened at 122kg and made a second successful lift at 125kg, which gave her a 220kg total.
Men’s heavyweight category
The men’s heavyweight category spanned the 81kg to 109+ categories and was the largest group of the day with 11 English top ranked lifters and a guest from Cameroon to offer extra competition.
Jamal Isaac-Shah (81kg) was first on the platform, opening his snatch 4kg above his personal best at 130kg. A kilo was added to the bar and Guy Michel Tchussi (81kg) representing Cameroon took his opener. Another kilo was added to the bar for Chris Murray’s (81kg) opener.
Jamal then made a second personal best with his second snatch at 133kg. The bar was then loaded to 135kg to bring out Jack Dobson (96kg) for an easy opener. Guy matched this weight in his second successful attempt, and then a kilo was added to bring out Ed Smale (96kg) for his opener. The bar remained at 136kg for Chris Palser-Thorne (109kg) to take his first snatch.
Jamal came out for a third missed attempt at 136kg. Chris Murray made light work of 138kg in his second snatch, followed by a miss at the same weight from Guy.
Several lifters attempted a 140kg snatch, starting with Edmon Avetisyan (96kg) who missed this weight for his opener. Jack made a success of this weight in his second attempt, as did Ed and Chris Palser-Thorne. Chris Murray also had success at this weight in his third attempt.
The bar jumped to 142kg to bring out Owen Boxall, who lost the bar out front. Edmon took his second attempt at this weight, making a good lift. Owen tried again, missing once more.
A kilo was added to the bar for Ed and Chris Palser-Thorne’s third attempts which were both missed in front.
With the bar now at 145kg, Cyrille Tchatchet II (96kg) took his opener. Edmon missed this weight on his third attempt after starting the lift with 1 second left on the clock and Owen came out for his third attempt to make the lift. A kilo was added and Jack came out for his final attempt which he lost behind.
The bar jumped up to 149kg to bring out Mack Middleton (109+kg) for a missed opener. Cyrille then came out for a second attempt at 150kg, which he failed to secure overhead. Cyrille followed himself at the same weight and made light work of the third attempt.
Andy Griffiths (109kg) opened at 152kg, and Mack added a kilo to the bar and put in a great fight for his second attempt. Andy then jumped to 156kg for a second snatch, which then brought out Mack for a 158kg attempt which he lost behind.
With the bar now at 160kg, Gordon Shaw (109+kg) came out for his first attempt which he made light work of. Andy took this weight for his third attempt and put up a good fight before losing the bar behind.
Gordon came out on a 10kg jump to attempt a new British senior record at 170kg, which he missed in front on his second and third attempts.
In the clean and jerk, Ed was first on the platform with 162kg. He went on to miss his second attempt at 169kg but added a kilo and made his last lift to total 310kg.
After a successful opener at 165kg, Guy went on to make 170kg on his second attempt, which left him with a 305kg total.
Jack also opened at 165kg and went 3 for 3 on clean and jerks after making an 8kg jump to 173kg, finishing on 183kg which gave him a 323kg total.
Chris Murray also opened at 170kg and made a 5kg jump for a new under 23 British clean and jerk record at 175kg. He narrowly missed his last jerk attempt at 179kg, which left him with a total of 315kg.
Edmon was next onto the platform with a 170kg opener, he then made a 6kg jump for a missed second attempt and then jumped up to 180kg for a good lift which gave him a 322kg total.
Cyrille opened at 180kg and went on to make a new senior British record with his second attempt of 191kg. After a third failed attempt at 200kg, Cyrille ended on a 241kg total.
Andy also opened at 180kg, missing 184kg on his second attempt, then adding a kilo to make a third successful lift leaving him with a 341kg total.
Chris Palser-Thorne opened with a successful 185kg and made his second attempt at 195kg. Chris had a 25-minute wait for his last lift and was the last lift of the day on an enormous 202kg attempt. After a strong pull, Chris failed to get under the bar but gave the crowd a good show and totalled 330kg.
Mack had a failed opener at 185kg but followed himself and made the weight on his second attempt. Mack then set a new senior British record on his last lift of 191kg, which gave him a 344kg total.
Gordon shaw came out to open on 195kg, and after a solid clean dropped the jerk after experiencing knee pain. Gordon did not take his second or third attempt, which unfortunately left him without a total.
Owen Boxall opened at 197kg and after an easy clean, missed the jerk. Owen then deliberately timed out his second attempt at this weight to gain more time, he came out on his third attempt and unfortunately missed this, which left him without a total.
The event was a fantastic day of lifting, with all of the athletes really giving their all out on the platform. British Weight Lifting would like to congratulate all lifters on their efforts and wish them all the best in training moving forward.
We would like to give appreciation to the crowd on the day who supplied energy and support to all the athletes. We can never underestimate how much a lively crowd helps the athletes.
We would like to give special thanks to everyone who made the event what it was, without input from numerous volunteers could not have been as successful as it was. Thank you to our loaders, technical officials, timekeepers, and event staff for your work at the event, and thank you to those who helped and contributed to the set up and close down.
British Weight Lifting would also like to thank our partners for your continuous support. We welcomed Weightlifting House and Built for Athletes at the event, along with Joymo who livestreamed the whole competition. As always, we utilised Eleiko equipment for the competition.
Lastly, thank you to our funding partners who help to make these events possible: Sport England, UK Sport and the National Lottery.
Stuart Martin, Weightlifting Head of Performance, had the following to say ‘The qualification process for Birmingham 2022 has been highly competitive and it has been fantastic to see England’s best lifters continually go head-to-head and improve despite the challenges of covid-19. The commitment of every competitor in the process have undoubtedly raised the standards required to make the final team, and even those that don’t quite make the final selection should be incredibly proud of their efforts and contribution to helping England field the strongest weightlifting team possible for Birmingham 2022. Thank you.’
Dave Sawyer, National Coach, added the following ‘The event was a fantastic spectacle for the sport, and the spectators attending and the viewers on live stream got to see the very best of English athletes performing to the highest level. There were obviously personal disappointments, which a trial event brings when individuals are pushing to be at the top of the rankings and to be selected to represent England at the Commonwealth Games. However, every athlete gave their all on the day. I congratulate every single one of them. Thank you for your commitment during the qualification period and I wish you all the very best in the future’
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