Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Kelly-Jo Has the Power to Compete with the Very Best

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Kelly-Jo Has the Power to Compete with the Very Best

Article excerpt

Byline: PHILIP TALLENTIRE philip.tallentire@trinitymirror.com @PTALLENTIREGAZ

THEY say great things come in small bundles and that's certainly the case with Teesside weightlifter Kelly-Jo Robson.

The 29-year-old from Stockton, who is about to take part in her first international competition, is just 4ft 11ins tall, and her competition weight is 48kg (7st 5lbs), but she is phenomenally strong.

Her record lift in the clean and jerk in competition is 78kg. To put that into perspective, she can lift the equivalent of a person weighing 12st 2lbs.

What's even more remarkable is she's only been weightlifting seriously for three-and-ahalf years.

The English champion in 2016 and 2017, Robson will jet out to Australia on August 30 to take part in the Commonwealth Championships in Gold Coast.

The competition doubles as a test event for next year's Commonwealth Games, which will also take place in the Gold Coast region of Queensland.

It's fair to say Kelly-Jo, who originally hails from Brotton, in East Cleveland, can't wait to pull on her Team England kit and represent her country Down Under.

"I've never represented England so it's a really new experience, I'm dead excited and a bit scared at the same time," she admitted.

"I am so happy, I can't wait to be on a stage and represent my country, I just think it will be amazing.

"To win in Australia, I would be over the moon, that would surely cement my place in the team for the Commonwealth Games next year.

"The aim in Australia is to beat the girl that pipped me by 1kg at the British Championships (Jo Calvino).

"At the moment we have the same personal best total on paper, so it's kind of a competition between me and her to see who might potentially get picked for the Commonwealth Games.

"But it's also for experience because we're going to be lifting at the Gold Coast, which will be at the same venue as the Commonwealth Games in April, and because I've never competed in an international competition before." The weightlifting event involves two lifts, the snatch and the clean and jerk, and the winner is the competitor who records the heaviest combined lift.

Kelly, whose competitive personal bests are 62kg (snatch) and 78kg (clean and jerk), took up weightlifting almost by accident.

"I didn't have an interest at all in weighlifting, I didn't even know what a barbell was," she said.

"I became interested after starting an internship at Durham University studying strength and conditioning.

"To teach athletes strength and conditioning, you have to be able to teach them Olympic weight lifting. To develop strength, speed and power it's a really good tool to use as a strength and conditioning coach to support athletes.

"So I had a little go at it and after doing that we had a day where a GB weightlifting coach came in and delivered a workshop to make sure we had the best tools we could possibly have to enable us to teach it, and he is now one of my coaches. …

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