Huntingdon powerlifter Tom Smith sets sights on World Cup glory
- Credit: CAMBRIDGE REGIONAL COLLEGE
Huntingdon's Thomas Smith is preparing himself for another shot at world glory after being selected by Team GB for the Para-Powerlifting World Cup.
The 19-year-old is part of a 13-strong squad and will compete in the men's U54kg category.
He won a junior bronze at the same event last year with a lift of 97kg, good enough to also place him seventh in the senior competition.
It is all part of the build-up towards his goals of making the squad for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2024 Paralympics.
Born with Tom Achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, he had a keen interest in sports from an early age although it wasn't until he joined the Dwarf Sports Association that competitive action appeared in his life.
Now he has to juggle education, he is currently studying a level four HNC in sport with a view to a completing a full degree and career in sports and performance analysis, with the life of an elite sportsman.
The Cambridge Regional College student said: "I started a three-day study programme which allowed me to achieve my qualification while keeping on track with my para powerlifting training.
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"This became even more important when considering my higher-level studies as I was starting to work towards qualifying for the 2024 Paralympic Games.
"The courses offered me the flexibility I needed to train whilst providing me with the opportunity to fulfil my academic ambitions."
The World Cup takes place from March 25 to 28 in Manchester, one of five scheduled before the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
It will be the British athletes' first in-person competition since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
British Weightlifting performance director Tom Whittaker said: "It is an exciting team with a fantastic mixture of experienced world-class athletes and emerging talent.
"After such a long period without competition, we’re extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to compete at this crucial qualifier on home soil.
"A home World Cup also means we’re able to give valuable international competition opportunities to a number of our young athletes and I’m looking forward to seeing how they perform in the world-class environment."