By James Reid, at the NEC in Birmingham
Birmingham may well have been Belfast for Hannah Crymble, who lauded the crowd’s support after finishing sixth in the women’s 59kg weightlifting.
Crymble lifted 186kg, snatching 83kg and cleaning and jerking 103kg, to secure a personal best on her Commonwealth Games debut.
The 26-year-old was roared on by the home crowd and believes they helped her only successful clean and jerk on her third attempt.
“It’s 100% the reason I made the lifts,” said Crymble, who works as a nurse alongside shifting iron.
“Especially on the clean and jerk, I think without the crowd it definitely wouldn’t have happened.
“They definitely lifted that weight for me.
“I’m just happy I didn’t bomb! I came close in both lifts, so I’m happy I was able to stay focused and get the lifts.”
The standard of lifting was high in Birmingham, with Nigeria’s Rafiatu Folashade-Lawal lifting 206kg to post a new Commonwealth Games record.
England’s Jessica Gordon Brown took silver with 197kg, and while Crymble didn’t medal like the other home crowd favourite, she believes there are bigger things ahead.
“I don’t know if showed but I was really nervous coming out for that last one and just had to hope for the best but thankfully I was able to do it,” added Crymble.
“It’s a good start, it’s my first Commonwealth Games, a PB total, my heaviest opener as well.
“It didn’t quite go to plan but managed to squeeze one out.
“I’m definitely going to stick around for four years and see where we can get next Commonwealths, and between that just gain experience in any competition I get the opportunity to do.
“Hopefully it will help with the platform nerves and we can start hitting the big weights.”
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is inspiring people and communities across the country and Crymble hopes their performance will motivate others to get involved in sport.
It had nearly looked to be going wrong for Crymble as she approached a final do-or-die clean and jerk third attempt, but the Newtownards star pulled one out the bag, much to her own disbelief.
“It’s hard to describe, you just go numb,” said Crymble.
“You’re sort of ‘did that happen? Did I make that lift?’ and then you hear the good lift and you just think ‘thank you!’”
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