“The Forum” was the venue hosting the English Weightlifting Championships, a senior national competition held in Manchester, as East End teenager Taslima Begum took part in her very first competition. The Tower Hamlets Youth Sports Foundation weightlifter and Oaklands School sixth former competed in the -48 kg female category, consisting of the finest -48 kg lifters in England.
A routine start in the snatch saw Taslima lift up an easy 48kg. She lifted the 51kg with ease but dropped the weight, and this was followed by a disappointing miss at 53 kg. Things began to look up as Taslima made her mark by completing a 61kg clean & jerk. Next up was another routine lift at 66kg. Within touching distance of a silver medal, the plucky teenager attempted 71 kg – but the attempt was unfortunately classed a no-lift due to her elbow touching her knee. Despite the disappointment, a total of 114 kg was enough to secure bronze.
After the event, Rich Kite, Taslima’s coach and Head Coach of the Oaklands Weightlifters club, said, “I’m really happy with Taslima’s performance. This is the first senior national competition she has attended and there’s a lot to take in. She really handled herself well. We got unlucky with a couple of lifts, but we know that Taslima will only improve from here. There are a few things to work on but, overall, I’m proud of Taslima and how well she’s performing. It’s easy to forget how young she is and how short a time she’s been in the sport, so it makes it an even more impressive result.”
Taslima will next star in a major competition in May, when she will seek to cement her position to compete on the international circuit.