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Smith revels in Olympic selection
Weightlifter Zoe Smith has spoken of her excitement at being selected to represent Great Britain at this summer's Olympic Games, insisting: "This is the biggest day of my career so far."
The 18-year-old has been confirmed as part of a five-strong team of GB lifters along with Natasha Perdue, Gareth Evans, Peter Kirkbride and Jack Oliver - all of whom will compete at their first Olympics in London.
"I'm officially part of Team GB and that's the best feeling, I've worked so hard to get here and I'm so glad to have finally achieved it," said Smith.
"Obviously there will be bigger days than this next month but this is the biggest day of my career so far, having my name announced in Team GB, and I couldn't really be happier to be honest."
Smith added: "I've been working towards this ever since I was about 12, I remember one of the first things Andy (Callard), my coach, said to my mum was 'she could really go all the way, but then again east London isn't that far!'. So literally from when I was 12 he had me going for the Olympic Games and we've made it."
Another lifter on an incredible journey is Welshman Evans.
The 26-year-old gave up his life as a painter and decorator to move to Leeds last July in order to be based near British Weight Lifting's High Performance Centre.
He has certainly benefited from the more professional approach but the Olympic dream has come at a cost, with Evans having to move away from his young daughter, who recently turned four, in order to put in the work required.
After Monday's news, an excited Evans said: "I've been a weightlifter since 1998, I've been lifting longer than anyone else on the squad. I've had time off here and there with things like work and the birth of my daughter, but it's my passion. I've always gone back to it, I love it.
"Especially over the last 12 months, the sacrifice of leaving full-time work, friends, family and especially my little girl, it's just desserts really. I'm happy for everyone, there's a lot of people who are unsung in my career - especially my parents, my coach in Holyhead Ray Williams - there's too many people to thank."