Harrow School was the venue as Oaklands Weightlifters took three lifters from across Tower Hamlets who were all seeking to hit the qualifying totals for the British U17s Championships.
Ubayda Choudhury from Sir John Cass Sixth Form, Naqibul Hasan from Stepney Green Boys Sixth Form and Taslima Begum, who has already qualified for this event, aimed to participate and meet the total required to qualify for the European Youth Championships in Poland.
Ubayda made a positive start, being successful in five out of six attempts and reaching new competitive personal bests along the way. Competing in the -62kg category, he finished off his snatches by hitting 50kg. The Clean and Jerk started out well as Ubayda worked up to 62kg for a great lift, but he missed his final attempt at 70kg. Despite this, Ubayda had managed to attain the all-important 112kg total to qualify for the British U17s.
Taslima was up next, competing at just over 48kg and starting her snatches off above bodyweight at 50kg. Next up was 53kg, but it couldn’t stay up and went off behind. To much frustration, this also caused stress on her elbow, and although it was evident that this was a very difficult lift, the team abandoned the last attempt to reduce the risk of injury.
The team next tested Taslima in the Clean & Jerk. There was no elbow pain and Taslima did really well, hitting 66kg to reach the qualifying total for Euro Youth. She finished with 71kg, to give her a final total of 121kg (3kg short of the World Youth qualifying total).
This was Naqibul’s first official competition, and he made weight for the -85kg category. Starting off with an easy snatch, Naqibul cruised through his snatches to finish on what seemed a comfortable 70kg. Moving onto the Clean & Jerk, Naqibul easily lifted 90kg and then easily did 100kg. 106kg caused difficulties, but Naqibul had a total of 170kg, smashing his target total of 155kg, meaning he also qualifies for the British U17s.
Head Coach Rich Kite said: “I couldn’t have been happier with today’s performances. The guys have been working really hard and it’s paid off. We were unfortunate with Taslima’s elbow, and maybe we could have hit the World Youth qualifier, but athlete health is first and foremost always. The boys really did me proud qualifying for the British U17s, and I hope to build on all performances in this competition.”
The team next moves onto the British U17 Championships, which will be held in Leeds.