Weightlifter Biatrice Gabell exceeded her own expectations when she landed a silver medal in the 53kg class on the opening day of competition. The 17 year old from Ayrshire has only been lifting for two years after a switch from badminton, but showed no sign of nerves as she excelled against the best young talent from around the Commonwealth.
Successful in all six of her lifts she ended with a 56kg snatch and 73kg clean and jerk for a 129kg total to put her in second behind Ulina Sagone of Fiji. Both weights were personal bests and with the bar still held above her head in her final lift there was already a proud smile on her face.
“It is so brilliant, it’s an amazing achievement to get a medal on the first day. I am so excited and I can’t wait to see the others compete. I have done well so I hope they also do well. I won’t lie, I was expecting a bronze, I thought at least a bronze, but a silver is even better. I mean I was expecting a bronze so I’m so happy.
This is a highlight of my career, a good starting point you could say. I’ll definitely be out tomorrow, I can’t wait! I’ll be out with my coach Georgi setting up the bars and everything for the others. I’ll be there supporting the team because they support and encourage me all the time.”
Away from competition Biatrice has also been embracing another Commonwealth ideal, that of friendship and developing an appreciation other cultures.
“I’ve loved meeting people from lots of different countries,” she said. “I find everyone so friendly to me and it’s really amazing to get to know the different cultures. They are teaching me new languages as well, it’s so much fun.”
Weightlifting action continues tomorrow with 14 year old Rowan Morrogh Bernard in the 58kg category and 15 year old Daniel Richardson in the 69kg class.