Zoe Smith breaks GB records at Worlds to stake claim for Rio 2016

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Zoe Smith
Smith faces competition from Rebekah Tiler for a place at Rio 2016

Zoe Smith broke two British records in her weightlifting World Championship final to boost her prospects of selection for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Smith, 21, set a new 'snatch' personal best of 97kg in the -63kg weight division as she finished ninth overall.

Her subsequent 124kg 'clean and jerk' and overall total of 221kg beat Michaela Breeze's previous GB record.

However, GB need to secure more ranking points at the European Championships in April to secure a place in Rio.

That event, in Norway, represents the team's final opportunity to earn a sole berth for a British woman because they have not picked up enough points from the 2014 and 2015 Worlds.

Smith beat fellow Briton, 16-year-old Rebekah Tiler, who was 13th at the event in Houston, USA.

Tiler, who usually competes at -69kg, achieved 93kg in the 'snatch' and 118kg in the 'clean and jerk' phases.

Smith's placing at the event is the best result for a British lifter at a World Championships since Breeze came fifth in 2002.

"To be competing alongside some of the best in the world was a real privilege," said Smith on her Instagram account.

"Hopefully someday soon I'll give them a run for their money. Ninth place at the World Championships isn't too bad at all."

Two-time Commonwealth champion Breeze said: "That was a phenomenal effort.

"It's great to see her moving in the right direction heading towards Rio and I'm sure she'll go home now and say 'enough with the dieting, this is my weight'.

"We'll see them both go head-to-head at the Euros and it's going to one heck of a fight come that event."

China's Deng Wei set a new 'clean and jerk' world record of 146kg en-route to a total of 259kg which secured gold.

Russia's Tima Turieva claimed silver with 248kg as Hyo Sim Choe of North Korea took bronze with a combined total of 243kg.

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC