Sonny Webster - British Weightlifting at the Ricoh Arena

British stars set for Olympic selection showdown

12th April 2016

2016 Weightlifting and Para-Powerlifting Championships

The British Weightlifting & Para-Powerlifting Championships returns to the Ricoh Arena on Saturday 11 - Sunday 12 June, in what is anticipated to be the crucial final Olympic selection event before this summer’s Games in Rio.

Depending on results at the European Weightlifting Championships later on this month, British lifters will be fighting it out at the Ricoh Arena for a maximum of two places at the Olympic Games.

Taking to the platform in June will be Commonwealth Games Champion Zoe Smith, who heads the bill. Zoe will face tough competition in the women’s 63kg category from 2015 European Junior Champion Sarah Davies and 2016 English Champion Emily Godley, as World Youth Championships silver medallist Rebekah Tiler will be battling it out in the women’s 69kg category in a packed Saturday afternoon session of competition.

The men’s classifications look set to witness equally fierce competition, with four elite lifters fighting to potentially claim their spot in Brazil. London 2012 Olympians Jack Oliver and Gareth Evans, in the 77kg and 62kg categories respectively, will be looking to retain the British titles they claimed in 2015, as will Sonny Webster in the 94kg category. Returning Welsh star Darius Jokarzadeh will also be looking to secure gold and a possible Olympic spot in the 105kg+ category.

Sunday morning as ever belongs to the para-powerlifters, with former world record holder Ali Jawad and four-time Paralympian Natalie Blake competing for the title of British Champion in what is always an exciting and well-attended session.

Returning to Coventry for the third consecutive year, the event is set to build on the huge success of the 2015 British Championships, which hosted a record number of entrants and spectators over the two days and witnessed a sold-out opening day of competition.

British Weight Lifting CEO Ashley Metcalfe commented, “After last year’s record-breaking British Championships we are delighted to be returning to the Ricoh Arena for a third year and look forward to continuing to build on the event’s profile even further during what is such an exciting year for the sport.

“The event has grown from strength-to-strength since we made the decision to move to the Ricoh in 2014 and the experience for both our athletes and spectators has improved significantly; It’s a huge year for Olympic and Paralympic sport and spectators at the British Championships will see our best lifters in action, just weeks before what we hope will be a fantastic showcase for British Weight Lifting in Rio.”

Andy Gibb, Managing Director of the Ricoh Arena, said the staging of the British Senior Weightlifting and Para-Powerlifting Championships for the third year in a row is a real coup for the city.

“All eyes will be on Britain’s athletes as we move closer to Rio, so to have this event in Coventry against this backdrop is fantastic for the local area as it will pull in visitors from all over the country.

“In addition to weightlifting, the Ricoh Arena has also played host to a variety of other sports including rugby union, football, darts, snooker, tennis and American football, reinforcing it as a first-class multi-purpose sporting venue.

“Last year’s event at the Ricoh Arena broke attendance records and we hope this year’s crowd will inspire the athletes to produce their very best performances to help them secure a place on the plane to Rio.”

Tickets for the 2016 British Weightlifting & Para-Powerlifting Championships are on general sale. All tickets will be sold online through www.tickets.com .

To register your interest in attending as a member of the press/media please e-mail lauren.chambers@110percent.co.uk.

For more information please contact a member of the British Weight Lifting team at enquiries@britishweightlifting.org or on 0113 224 9402.