By Tom Degun

Tommy Yule liftingApril 2 - Former Olympic and Commonwealth Games representative Tommy Yule has been named by British Weight Lifting as their new performance director and has been charged with leading the team to success at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The 37-year-old was born in South Africa but grew up both in Scotland and England and therefore represented Team GB at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

He also achieved the rare feat of representing both England and Scotland at the different Commonwealth Games, competing for England in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and then Scotland in Manchester in 2002 and again in Melbourne in 2006, winning silver and bronze medals in the latter two events.

Yule still holds the British senior snatch record in the 105kg bodyweight category, having lifted 165kg over 13 years ago, while he has ten years' experience in strength and conditioning support in high performance sport working with organisations such as UK Athletics and the English Institute of Sport (EIS).

"Having competed in the sport for over 20 years, it is an honour to be appointed to lead the high performance programme for Olympic weightlifting and IPC (International Paralympic Committee) Powerlifting," said Yule.

"There is a lot of potential in both disciplines; to continue to build a programme that supports the lifters and their coaches to realise that potential and succeed on the international stage is an exciting challenge for me."
Zoe SmithZoe Smith is one of Britain’s biggest Rio 2016 Olympic medal hopes in weightlifting following a promising performance at London 2012

Yule takes over a promising Olympic weightlifting team headed by teenage starlet Zoe Smith.

The 18-year-old from Greenwich won a bronze medal for England at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games in the women's 58kg division before finishing 12th in the division at the London 2012 Olympics with an impressive display that saw her take the British record with a clean and jerk lift of 121.0 kg.

The Paralympic team, meanwhile, is pnning its hopes for Rio 2016 on Zoe Newson, who won a bronze medal in the -40kg class at London 2012. 

"We're delighted to have been able to recruit someone of the calibre of Tommy to lead the sport forward," said British weightlifting director with responsibility for performance Sarah Rowell.

"His own competitive career combined with his work in high performance means that in our view there is nobody better equipped to see the sport through the Rio Olympic and Paralympic cycle."

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