European youth weightlifting champion Rebekah Tiler has taken a massive step towards Commonwealth Games qualification.
The 15-year-old from Denholme hit the qualifying standard for Glasgow this summer while winning the women’s 69kg bodyweight category at the English Championships last weekend.
Bingley Grammar School pupil Rebekah totalled 194kg and was one of four English females to qualify at the British Weight Lifting-organised event in the West Midlands, while there were nine men who did likewise in an impressive championships.
Others to hit the qualifying mark included Delhi Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Zoe Smith, the Bristol-based Londoner who returned to action after almost a year out through injury with an impressive total of 206kg.
But several emerging talents, including Rebekah, also threw their names into the hat for Glasgow selection with impressive performances.
With a maximum team size for the 2014 Games of eight men and seven women, there will be some tough selection choices to be made, and it was imperative that athletes not only proved capable of passing the qualifying mark but also of winning their category.
Not only were record entries of over 100 competitors attracted to the Harry Mitchell Leisure Centre in Smethwick but also more than 300 spectators each day.
“It has been such an impressive weekend,” said British Weight Lifting performance director Tommy Yule.
“Sport England has set us a tough target of four medals at Glasgow, but it’s great to see so many athletes – new and established – perform so well and achieve the qualifying mark early in the season.”
British Weight Lifting chief executive officer Ashley Metcalfe added: “The sport has progressed so much in recent months and it’s an exciting time to be involved in weightlifting, both at an elite level and at the grassroots.
“With record entries and a full house of spectators for two days, it was a great way to showcase our sport, and I would like to applaud the efforts of all the athletes.
“Those that have qualified have now had the pressure taken off them and can focus on their training for the Games in the summer.
“We are very grateful to Sport England for the funding and assistance they give us, and we want to deliver on our targets and show everyone that weightlifting as a sport is on the up and can win medals in major championships.”
Rebekah had a snatch of 82kg and a clean and jerk of 112kg.
She warmed up for the English Championships by competing in the Northern Schools’ Championship, organised by her home club of Mytholmroyd at Crossfit Manchester the previous weekend.
All six Mytholmroyd members won gold, to the delight of the club’s head coach Eddie Halstead.
Rebekah returned her second-best total of 197kg in the same 69kg category, with an 84kg snatch and a 113kg clean and jerk.
And her sisters didn’t disappoint either, each setting personal bests.
Sophie, 11, lifted 30kg in the snatch and 40kg in the clean and jerk in the 40kg bodyweight section, which means she lifted her own bodyweight.
Meanwhile, nine-year-old Lisa did likewise with a 23kg snatch and a 30kg clean and jerk in the 30kg bodyweight category.
Other Mytholmroyd members to shine were Owen Lockwood (90kg snatch, 125kg clean and jerk in the 77kg senior class), Marcus Collins (75kg snatch, 95kg clean and jerk in the 77kg under-16 class) and fellow 15-year-old Jalaal Miller (95kg snatch and 115kg clean and jerk in the 105kg plus bodyweight class to break both British under-16 records).