Team GB’s weightlifting sensation Emily Campbell said she was lost for words after becoming the first ever British woman to win a weightlifting Olympic medal.
Campbell took silver in the +87kg category in Tokyo, and was overcome with the size of her achievement
"I said to the coaches 'what's just happened?” she said. “That clean wasn't a perfect clean, I had to fight to get under it. Once I get cleaned I know I am going to jerk it. I am lost for words right now.
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I picked up a barbell five years ago for the first time and now I am an Olympic silver medallist.
"You know you can get in shape coming into these things,” Campbell told the BBC. “You know you want to perform your best, but to actually put it out on the stage, I'm really thrilled."

Emily Jade Campbell of Team Great Britain competes during the Weightlifting - Women's 87kg+ Group A on day ten of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo International Forum on August 02, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan

Image credit: Getty Images

Campbell is one of three British women to earn selection for Team GB’s weightlifting squad in Tokyo, and said prior to the Games that they hoped to show watching girls that lifting weights doesn’t mean losing femininity.
“To have three girls qualifying, it shows that you don’t have to sacrifice your femininity to be a weightlifter,” she said.
“You are a women in weightlifting and you can be what you want to be, and I hope that we do inspire younger girls to go into the gym and pick up a barbell.
“We are trying to promote the message of physical literacy, making sure these girls know it is healthy to go to the gym and to look after your body. If we can do that then we can do our jobs.”

Emily Jade Campbell of Team Great Britain competes during the Weightlifting - Women's 87kg+ Group A on day ten of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo International Forum on August 02, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan

Image credit: Getty Images

And, in an interview with Sport England before making the trip to Tokyo, Campbell criticised the double standards between treatment of male and female heavyweight lifters.
“I get a lot of stigma with being a superheavyweight,” Campbell said. “There’s a double standard when it comes to women and men.
Men are alright to be overweight and stuff, they’re an amazing athlete or whatever. But as soon as a woman is overweight she’s fat, she’s not an athlete.
“As long as you know you’re inspiring the right people and that you’re motivating people to do what they want to do for them, then I know that I’m doing my job right.
“All the negativity that comes with, yeah it’s hard to see it, but you just have push that away and concentrate on what you’re doing that is good.”
A gold medal never looked on the cards for Campbell or any competitor other than China's Li Wenwen, with the 21-year-old dominating the competition from the outset.
The pre-tournament favourite reduced the weight of her opening lift to get a score on the board and move into a lead in the competition.
But that proved to be just a warm-up for the Chinese sensation, who cruised up through the weights with apparent ease, succeeding with an Olympic record 173 clean and jerk before returning with a sensational success in 180 to add gloss to her gold medal performance.
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