Olympics weightlifting: Zoe Smith hits back at Twitter critics

Zoe Smith said her weightlifting display at London 2012 had stuck "two fingers" up to her Twitter abusers.

The British teenager finished in 11th place but broke the British clean and jerk record in the women's 58kg event.

"There are people who hate female weightlifters because we apparently all look like men," she said. "But we don't. I'm a girl, I wear make-up and lip gloss and things like that."

And she said her critics had received the "verbal kicking they deserved".

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The only thing I can compare it to is when I went to see Muse at Wembley. It was a similar level of cheer to what they got. They are a massive band and I feel like them! That's crazy.

Zoe Smith

China's Li Xueying set an Olympic record to win gold at the ExCel Arena.

Competing in Group A, she lifted a combined total of 246kg, setting a separate Olympic record of 108kg in the snatch and equalling the previous best in an Olympics with 138kg in the clean and jerk.

Thailand's Pimsiri Sirikaew was second with a combined total of 236kg, while Ukraine's Yuliya Kalina was third with 235kg.

Smith went in Group B earlier in the day, recording a lift of 90kg in the snatch, having failed twice at a new British best attempt of 93kg.

In the clean and jerk, the 18-year-old nailed her second attempt at 121kg, to wild applause from the home fans.

A delighted Smith was then quick to round on her critics.

"It's two fingers up to them, basically," she added. "'What are you doing with your life? I've just competed at the Olympics!'"

Smith, who flits between 58kg and 63kg, was entered in the lower weight category despite the field being almost twice as big.

Had she been entered in the 63kg category she would have competed in Monday evening's Group A session, as there are only 10 lifters in total.

But British Weightlifting made it clear that Smith's long-term future is at 58kg, with the ultimate aim being the Rio Olympics in 2016.

"There was mention of competing at 63kg, but only when I nearly didn't make weight," said Smith. "I weighed in 57.98kg, which is pretty close.

"The plan was always for me to compete at 58kg, just for experience, because that is where I'll be hopefully be winning a medal in 2016.

"It seems a long way off but I'll have a lot more experience after the next four years and I do think I'm going to be able to bring it, come 2016."

Smith, who was born just round the corner from the ExCel Arena in Greenwich, added that the overriding memory of her performance would be the reception she got after her last lift.

"The only thing I can compare it to is when I went to see Muse at Wembley," she said. "It was a similar level of cheer to what they got. They are a massive band and I feel like them! That's crazy.

"Sixty fans at the British championships is amazing, so 6,000 was beyond belief. Thank you to everybody who came. You got me through the competition and I love you all."

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