By Josh Graham at the NEC, Birmingham
Brash Ben Hickling admitted he was ready to gorge on pizza and chocolate after the weightlifter took fourth for Team England at the Commonwealth Games.
Eastbourne’s Hickling, 20, beat his personal best at 55kg with a combined total of 212kg, setting a new British record in the process, in front of a deafening home crowd at Birmingham’s NEC.
The mullet-toting University of Brighton student lifted 93kg in the snatch before managing to clean and jerk 119kg but suggested he is looking to move up the weight categories for future Games after feeling the strain of staying lean.
Hickling said: “I don’t have many words to describe it, to be honest. The crowd were electric, and I loved every moment of it.
“I haven’t eaten pizza or chocolate, so it’s going to be pretty wild in terms of food for the next couple of days but back to an athlete’s diet in a couple of weeks and back training.“
“I’m going to put on a bit of timber, hopefully you’ll never see me this skinny again. More weightlifting to come and hopefully I’ll be back at the Commonwealths in four years.
“I’m going up, I can’t stay at 55 anymore, I’m depriving myself of nutrients! See how we go, might go up two or one.”
Hickling failed at an attempt to clear 97kg in the snatch before nailing all three of his clean and jerk lifts but was unable to challenge for the podium, missing out by 13kg with Malaysia’s Bin Kasdan Mohamad Aniq taking gold with a new Games record of 142kg in the latter discipline.
The youngster was cheered on by several members of his family boasting homemade signs, including twin Jake who joked he was proud of his younger brother, despite being just a minute older.
And despite putting in a very commendable display, Hickling is looking to push the bar even higher going forward.
He said: “We all have expectations and want to hit PBs. It wasn’t quite my day today on snatch, nerves got the better of me, but I chilled out for the clean and jerk and really used the crowd to my advantage.
“I reckon I might have had a bit more in the locker and maybe on a better day we might have pushed it but to secure fourth place we had to play it safe and that’s the way it worked out.”
“In this weight class, it’s a PB but I know I’m capable of more, there is more there.
“There are loads of my family here, I loved it. I try not to take note of it when I’m competing but as soon as that lift goes down, they are all on their feet and it’s wild.”
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