Thoughts that Zoe’s performance in London was a fluke or a result of good luck can now be dismissed as she has gone out in Rio and performed well to achieve another bronze medal.
Zoe was the only medallist in Powerlifting when competing in London and came through as an outsider to secure the bronze. A tough qualification campaign with issues over classification meant she was ranked 6th in the World entering this games and wasn’t tipped to win a medal by anyone outside Suffolk Spartans, who knew how well she was training.
In these games she opened with a lift of 98kg, which was 3kg above her best in the qualification campaign. Jumping to 102kg on her second lift she made this look comfortable as well and was in second place going into round three of the competition. The third round saw both Zoe and the Nigerian, Latifat complete their third lifts in similar fashion but the referring, which has been strict, failed Zoe’s lift on a 2 to 1 decision while Latifat’s lift was passed.
This shows just how tight the competition was and the nail biting finish. This Paralympics saw Zoe add 13kg to the lift that secured her a bronze in London 2012 and is phenomenal in a 4 year cycle which mean she out performed her teammates for progression and demonstrates the effectiveness of the training programs from Suffolk Spartans. Zoe did attempt a fourth lift of 107.5kg outside of the competition for a world record but despite lifting the weight she couldn’t quite lock it out on the day. The gold medal was taken by Dandan of China with a lift of 107kg.
All the club along with family and friends watched the excitement together at Inspire Suffolk and were cheering her all the way. As a club we are so proud as she and Suffolk Spartans is true testament to what can be achieved with the minimum of equipment, dedicated volunteers, hard work and no funding. Anyone can make it if they find a good sports club.
The medals did keep coming for GB powerlifting in the group following Zoe with British Weightlifting’s Ali Jawad picking up a silver. Although the competition wasn’t as close, Sherif of Egypt took Gold with a 203kg and new world record, Ali secured the silver with his first and only lift of 190kg, a 5kg increase on his best lift in London 2012, and Quanxi of China lifting 176kg to secure bronze.
A great day for Powerlifting in Great Britain.