England’s Sarah Davies came out of a ‘tough’ period in her weightlifting career to end her silver streak and win gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Davies triumphed in the women’s 71kg final after they finished runners-up at European and World Championships and the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Victory for the 29-year-old came in her first international competition after being banned from teams in England and Great Britain for three months for making discriminatory remarks against a fellow athlete.
“It was a tough time but I learned from it and educated myself,” said Davies, the former Miss Leeds and Miss West Yorkshire who has traded beauty pageants for the world of weightlifting.
“I learned my lesson and we’re going to move on from there. I used the time (since mid-April) to train myself as there were no national competitions during this time.
“There were a lot of second places, but now the tide has turned and silver is finally over.”
Davies was three kilos clear of Nigeria’s Joy Ogbonne Eze after setting a new snatch record at the Games at 103kg.
Eze left the arena in tears after three no-lifts in the clean and jerk category denied her any medal.
Davies also failed with her first clean and jerk attempt before stabilizing to lift 126kg, relegating Canada’s Alexis Ashworth and India’s Harjinder Kaur to the smaller medals.
“I thought I’d make it more of a crowd pleaser,” said Davies.
“I misjudged a bit the first time. It pulled me backwards and then sits a little heavier on the trachea.
“The noise reverberated throughout the room and I momentarily lost my sight.
“But that’s happened to me before in training and it’s just a matter of taking a deep breath and taking your time before resetting.
“The lion in me came out to fight on the second. I didn’t leave it to the third try, I knew that fame was at stake and that it mattered.
“I knew what had happened to the Nigerian before and I didn’t want to go that route.”
England’s Chris Murray had previously won gold in the men’s 81kg final before his Gibraltarian friend Holly O’Shea competed in the women’s 71kg event.
Murray defeated Australia’s Kyle Bruce and Canada’s Nicolas Vachon in dramatic fashion after leading at half-time.
Bruce successfully completed a 180kg clean and jerk and initially got three green lights for his 183kg attempt, which would have put him in first place. But it was disqualified by the jury because his left elbow was bent.
Vachon’s attempt at victory was undone when he dropped the bar after apparently making a successful lift.
England’s Zoe Smith was fourth in the women’s 64kg final, Christie Williams of Wales was seventh and Caroline Doyle of Northern Ireland was ninth.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/birmingham-great-britain-team-england-leeds-west-yorkshire-b2136046.html Sarah Davies emerges from a ‘tough’ period to win gold in weightlifting in Birmingham