Smith succeeded in her first snatch attempt of 90kg failed the following two at 93kg.

However she proved herself in the clean and jerk, succeeding in her final attempt at 121kg and topping Michaela Breeze’s British record of 120kg set eight years ago.

Smith confessed to severe nerves before the event, telling the Independent that she burst into tears while waiting in the competitors’ area when she heard an interview with her mother, Niki, being screened.

“I feel like such a div because my coach says ‘never cry on TV’; never cry in a competition,” she said. “But I did that, when I heard her, because I felt pretty rubbish at that point and I was hearing people say how proud they are of me. I felt I’d let them down. I thought ‘I hope no-one can see this’. But I’m only human.”

So what’s the clean and jerk anyway?

The clean and jerk is one of the two Olympic weightlifting events.

During the ‘clean’, the lifter jumps the bar up through triple extension of the hips, knees and ankles. The bar should end up below the lifter’s chin as they stand in a deep squat.

The ‘jerk’ consists of bends the knees and then straightens them in order to propel the barbell upwards until it is held over the head.


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