OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Smith breaks British record to finish 11th
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By Sportsbeat staff, London 2012
TEENAGE weightlifter Zoe Smith believes breaking a British record in the London 2012 Olympic Games will provide great experience for Rio 2016.
BRITISH RECORD: Zoe Smith lifts 121kg to break Michelle Breeze's eight-year reign in clean and jerk
Smith – competing at the ExCel just around the corner from where she was raised in Greenwich – broke Michelle Breeze’s eight-year record of 120kg when she lifted 121kg in the 58kg clean and jerk to finish 12th.
But Smith suffered mixed emotions after she could only lift a disappointing 90kg in the snatch, which left her looking ahead to Brazil in four years.
“I was very pleased that after a disappointing start I was able to come back and perform so well in the clean and jerk,” said Smith, who competed in Group B.
“It is all going to stand me in very good stead for Rio in 2016. I gave it my best – I am happy that I broke the senior British record for clean and jerk.
"I rushed my second and third snatch. I know myself I always rush it when I am nervous.
"I am just overwhelmed. It is the best and worst day in my life.
“I can't put it into words. I didn't really do myself justice. It all did affect me in the end – my nerves got to me eventually."
Smith admitted she was blown away by the support of the home crowd, with around 6,000 people cheering her on, including her family, whom she paid tribute to.
“This afternoon was an amazing experience,” said the 18-year-old, who was moved from 63kg to 58kg to benefit her long-term future.
“My mind was somewhere else. I was overwhelmed by how big the audience was. I have never had 6,000 people watching me and cheering for me.
“The crowd were great and over the next few days I am going to reflect on what has happened.
“I want to thank every single member of the crowd, who really helped me come back and do so well in the clean and jerk.
“It is an experience I am never going to forget. Having the hopes and thoughts of everyone here was just unbelievable.
"Having my family around means everything to me. This is a bitter-sweet moment. It is a home game, and they were all here for me."
© Sportsbeat 2012