Weightlifting: meet the Team Scotland athletes hoping for Games glory

As we await the announcement of the complete weightlifting Team Scotland, three competitors have met the qualifying criteria to date.

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Delhi Silver Medallist Peter Kirkbride: photograph courtesy of Kilmarnock Amateur Weightlifting Club
Delhi Silver Medallist Peter Kirkbride: photograph courtesy of Kilmarnock Amateur Weightlifting Club

Peter Kirkbride who won Silver at Delhi 2010 and is a hot favourite to collect further medals on home soil this summer has obtained his place in the team. So far the 26 year old Ayrshire man is the only male confirmed for Team Scotland.

Louise Mather has also been confirmed and it is looking very likely that the Scottish team will consist of more females than males in this year's competition.

Louise is coached by Ray Cavanagh of Team Cavanagh which is based in Anniesland.

Ray said: "Louise took up the sport only a year and a half ago and she has progressed very well and is a natural strength athlete."

Ray Cavanagh is also hopeful that another of his athletes, Colette Will, will also gain a place in Team Scotland.

The British Championships in May, which are held in England, will give Colette the opportunity to obtain the 6kg she needs to add to her current total to fulfil the demanding criteria for Commonwealth Games entry.

Georgi Black of Chick Hamilton's Kilmarnock club has also met the qualifying criteria and will be a great asset to the squad. Georgi who has nine Scottish titles under her belt has worked tremendously hard to adjust her weight in order to maximise the potential of taking Gold.

Another hopeful participant is Sophie Smyth, cousin of Georgi Black, so it is looking like the ladies are gathering nicely to make a significant part of the team for this year's Games.

Team Scotland coach Chick Hamilton of Kilmarnock Weightlifting Club is confident of good results this year.

Chick said: "I was coach at Australia 2006 and Delhi 2010. This year we will be putting out our biggest team yet so our chances are better than ever."

Weightlifting has come a long way and gathered a steady following since the days of twice gold winning Commonwealth Games medallist Phil Caira.

The Kirkcaldy man who was Scotland's most successful weightlifter of all time, died earlier this month but no doubt would have been immensely proud of the men and women weightlifters who will make up Team Scotland for Glasgow 2014.

The complete squad will be announced in the third week in May.

Having a share of the spotlight at the Commonwealth Games in the summer will also dispel some myths about the sport.

It was once believed that lifting weights turned you into a bulky vein popping specimen with crumbling joints.

But the NHS have confirmed that resistance and weight training actually contribute to improving weakened joints.

The bulky myth has been replaced by the facts that weightlifting does not give you huge muscles and that it tones and strengthens the body.

The aim of lifting weights is not to obtain biceps like Arnold Schwarzenegger and wander around the local gym, admiring your well-oiled new muscles in two sizes too small clothing, in the wall to wall mirrors.

Team Scotland head coach Chick Hamilton said: "With the myths dispelled the sport is attracting more positive attention. Almost anyone can involve weightlifting as part of an exercise routine to reach optimum levels of fitness and strength."

With a new energy surrounding weightlifting and 15 weight categories ranging from 48 kg to 105+kg, the SECC Precinct in Glasgow's West End is sure to be captivating for all around the world to see.

Sport

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