Weightlifters' anger at Olympic omission

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Frustrated: Halil Zorba Frustrated: Halil Zorba

Crystal Palace weightlifters Halil Zorba and Jo Calvino have both expressed their anger after being left out of Great Britain’s Olympic team.

The pair won their categories at the British Championships, which doubled up as the Olympic trials, last month and met the B qualifying standard but were overlooked despite both appealing the selections.

Zorba’s spot went to Leeds-based Jack Oliver, another 77kg category lifter who, despite lifting more than Zorba this year, crashed out of the Championships three weeks ago when he failed with all three snatch attempts.

Calvino, and fellow Crystal Palace trainer Emily Godley, were overlooked in favour of 36-year-old Natasha Perdue, another lifter who trains at the British Weightlifting High Performance Centre in Leeds, who failed at the British Championships when she registered three no lifts in the clean and jerk.

“What is there to say?” said Zorba.

“I’m British champion and English champion and still I do not qualify – the way forward is obviously to move to Leeds and fail at the British Championships.

“There is nothing positive to be said.

“The strongest man has gone as he has lifted slightly higher than me and I wish him the best of luck, but I feel like I have just had a big slap across the face from my governing body as they have not recognised my development.”

Calvino and Godley both hit the B standard twice, while Perdue did it just once, leaving a bitter taste in Calvino’s mouth.

“Nothing ceases to amaze me, it just disappoints me,” she tweeted.

“Whoever said there is more politics in sport than politics itself is 100 per cent right.

“They pretty much should have just said lift s*** at British, live in Leeds, be inconsistent and you get selected.”

The other GB women’s place went to Greenwich teenager Zoe Smith, while the other two men’s spots went to Gareth Evans, who trains in Leeds, and Peter Kirkbride.

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