LONDON 2012: Smith achieves Olympic standard but just misses Euro medal
ZOE Smith took one huge step closer to securing Olympic weightlifting qualification - but just missed out on a medal at the European Championships in Turkey.
BOOST: Teenager Zoe Smith took a big step closer to Olympic qualification at the European Weightlifting Championships in Turkey
However, making the podium was always a secondary aim this week and the 17-year old will be delighted to lift 92kg in the snatch and 116kg in the clean and jerk to register a superb total of 208kg, well above the 196kg minimum for the A standard.
Smith has slimmed down to compete in the women's 58kg category, after winning Commonwealth Games bronze at 63kg and it seems to be paying dividends.
She finished just seven kilograms behind the winner, Azerbaijan's Boyanka Kostova, and three kilograms off bronze medallist, Russia's Yelena Shadrina.
However, a bigger prize is a repeat of that performance at May's British Championship, which would be enough to guarantee her London 2012 selection.
Smith recently returned to London after training full-time at British Weightlifting's high performance centre in Leeds and she claims it has made a difference to her approach.
"I missed home," she admitted.
"I was training twice a day and I didn't really get a break and it got a little bit depressing.
"I ended up not wanting to be there and it wasn't good for me.
"My coach in London has been with me since I was 12 and he knows me best. I'm training once a day now - just one hard session - and I'm much happier and hopefully it's working."
A maximum of three men and two women can be selected for Team GB, but they will only be considered if they hit the specified A standard twice or B standard once, with athletes hitting the A standard given preference.
Gareth Evans, in the men's 69kg, and tiny Joanne Calvino, in the women's 48kg, failed to hit their top targets as they finished 15th and tenth respectively.
But they did achieve the required B standard, meaning an anxious wait before the team is confirmed.
It's a particular blow for Evans, who claimed to have achieved the top standard - which he missed by 12 kilograms - during recent training sessions.
© Sportsbeat 2012