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Zoe Smith, 16, receives Commonwealth call for Delhi

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Teenage weightlifter set for Commonwealths

Teenager Zoe Smith will become the youngest ever weightlifter to represent England at the Commonwealth Games after being named in a 12-strong team.

The 16-year-old is also the youngest member of England's squad for the entire Games, although some sports have still to finalise their teams.

Smith will compete in the 58kg group in India, after taking silver at the European Youth Championships in June.

She also took gold at under-53kg at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune.

Smith has broken more than 300 records since taking up the sport four years ago.

Also selected in the weightlifting team are Gurbinder Cheema and Jo Calvino, who both finished fourth at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and will each be competing in their third successive Commonwealth Games.

They are joined by 2008 Paralympian Ali Jawad, who finished ninth in the 75kg class in Beijing, while Joe Muskett and Chris Rattenberry are also on the team.

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Smith, who sealed her place in the squad with a combined lift of 188kg at the British Weightlifting Championships in Kilmarnock, said: "I'm pretty excited about it. At the moment it's as big as the Olympic Games to me. I think it will really help me on the way to 2012.

"The atmosphere there will be phenomenal. I really enjoyed being in Pune and I'm looking forward to going back to India.

"Like everyone else, I'm obviously going for gold in Delhi. I think that's a realistic prospect. I'm going to give it my all and see what happens on the day."

Smith is 13th in the Commonwealth rankings for under-58kg, but she is expected to climb up the rankings when they are updated to include her European Youths performances.

Maggie Lynes, England's weightlifting team manager, said: "Zoe has demonstrated her potential to podium at major championships and it's very exciting to have her in the team.

"I think the whole team has the potential to do well in Delhi. They are all capable of performing on the day and now selection is out of the way, they can focus on their training for the Commonwealth Games."

The Games in Delhi will be the third to feature women's weightlifting and powerlifting for athletes with disabilities, and the first to showcase women's powerlifting for disabled athletes.


Women:

53kg: Jo Calvino

58kg: Zoe Smith, Helen Jewell

63kg: Emily Godley

69kg: Kerri Wotenick

Paralifting: Zoe Newson

Men:

62kg: Christopher Freebury

77kg: Jack Oliver

105kg: Gurbinder Cheema

+105kg: Joe Musket

Paralifting: Ali Jawad, Chris Rattenberry



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see also
Fraser to miss Commonwealth Games
05 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Commonwealth baton reaches India
25 Jun 10 |  South Asia
Michaela Breeze's weightlifting guide
21 Apr 08 |  Weightlifting
Weightlifting basics
04 Jul 08 |  Weightlifting
Weightlifting rules
04 Jul 08 |  Weightlifting
Weightlifting technique
04 Jul 08 |  Weightlifting


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