Weightlifter Noorin Gulam said the home crowd “fuelled her fire” after she broke her own British record and claimed sixth at the Commonwealth Games.
Hayes star Gulam, 26, recorded a combined total of 161kg in the women’s 49kg, just one kilogram more than the mark she set at the trials for the Games in London earlier this year.
Gulam cleared 73kg with her snatch before cleaning and jerking 88kg in front of friends and family at Birmingham’s NEC, some of whom were watching her perform live for the very first time.
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“I think it has been an amazing journey having this home Commonwealth Games, especially being able to have friends and family in the crowd,” said Gulam, who has a degree in Sport Psychology and Coaching Sciences from Bournemouth University.
“For a lot of my family, it’s the first time watching me lift even after so many years in the sport. It has been amazing to have them be part of this journey and be able to witness stuff like breaking British records in real life.
“I think it adds an element of pressure being a home Games, you want to make the crowd proud and be able to perform in front of everybody you love.
“But it also fuels the fire as well, it really makes you want to bring your A game and that’s definitely what I aimed to achieve today.”
Gulam revealed she left no stone unturned in advance of the Games, moving to a part-time role in her job as a marketing manager and enlisting a nutritionist to aid her recovery and preparation having battled injuries in the past.
She added: “It has been quite the journey, but I wouldn’t change it for anything, I really wanted to make sure I was as prepared as I possibly could be at these Games.
“I’ve really tried to focus on every aspect of being an athlete and tried to make sure that absolutely everything was perfect leading up to these Games.
“I felt quite ready to be my absolute best self on stage today especially after a great performance at the England trials.
“It’s an amazing time for weightlifting in the UK, it’s really excelling and for me to be continuing to progress after 11 years of lifting, I’m just over the moon to still be competitive at that standard after so long.”
Gulam is now looking forward to some down time and is tempted to push for the Olympic Games as 49kg is included in the programme for Paris 2024 with the next highest category 10kg heavier.
However, after first taking up the sport in GCSE PE she is set to allow herself to move up in weight and push her strength to the limit.
She explained: “For me now, I think it’s going to be a bit of a rest. It has been a six-month journey of intensive training and first trying to qualify and then being in the best possible shape.
“Who knows what is next for me, we go into an Olympic year which is always very exciting.
“To make it to Paris would mean the absolute world. It has been a long journey to get down to this weight class but It’s whether I can perform and progress in this weight class.
“It’s deciding whether I want to stick or split and let my body get stronger and move up, and after nearly 12 years in the sport it’s probably time to go up and get stronger and see what my body can really do.”
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