By Tom Degun in New DelhiOctober 6 - Teenage sensation Zoe Smith has made history by becoming the first English woman to win a weightlifting medal at the Commonwealth Games after securing bronze in the 58kg category.
The prodigiously talented 16-year-old Londoner, who shot to prominence on the BBC documentary series Olympic Dreams, went up against a number of veteran athletes in what was her first senior international competition.
Smith, the youngest lifter in her group by two years, made an unsurprisingly nervy start to the event by failing to lift 80kg in her opening snatch.
However, she recovered brilliantly on her second attempt before finishing with a superb 85kg, a personal best that put her into second spot.
Smith then opened the clean and jerk with 103kg and although she twice missed out on 108kg in her final two lifts, her combined 188kg was good enough to secure a famous bronze medal.
Smith said: "I had high expectations.
"There’s no point turning up otherwise, and I was so nervous I was shaking.
"It’s not the gold but I don’t care - I’ve won a medal at the Commonwealth Games.
"It’s still amazing and it hasn’t really sunk in yet."
Her coach, multi-Commonwealth weightlifting medallist Andy Callard, said: "She was nervous, it was her first major championship and people were expecting a lot from her.
"We are very happy that we ended up getting a result.
"We’ve got a young team and Zoe’s done really well for us."
Callard said the next big goal for Smith will be the London 2012 Olympics.
"She’ll be a lot more mature and a lot stronger by then," he said.
In the same event, Devon-based Helen Jewell came ninth after lifting 77kg in the snatch and 93kg in the clean and jerk.
India’s Renu Yumnam took gold for the hosts with 197kg, while Australia’s Seen Lee was second with 192kg.
Contact the writer of this story [email protected]