The British Olympic Association has named Rebekah Tiler and Sonny Webster as the two athletes who will be representing Team GB in weightlifting at this summer’s Olympic Games.
Both athletes will be making their Olympic debut in Rio; Rebekah Tiler will compete in the women’s 69kg category, while Sonny Webster will feature in the men’s 94kg division.
17-year-old Tiler, from Keighley, West Yorkshire, will be one of the youngest athletes representing Team GB this summer; part of British Weight Lifting’s UK Sport-funded World Class Programme, Tiler will go to Rio as reigning British Champion, having broken two British records at last month’s British Championships.
Already a multiple British record holder across both youth and senior levels, Tiler also won bronze at this year’s European Championships, finished fourth at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and won gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games last September.
Bristol-based Webster, aged 22, is also the current British Champion and a British under 23 record holder; Webster finished fifth at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and is also a former European Junior medallist.
Team GB’s Chef de Mission, Mark England, said: “I want to congratulate Rebekah and Sonny on being chosen to represent Team GB at this summer’s Olympic Games.
“Both athletes are young and have shown a huge amount of promise in the last few years and I hope to see that continue in Brazil. A first Olympic experience is an incredibly exciting one, and their success at this stage of their athletic careers bodes well for the future of weightlifting in this country.”
Rebekah Tiler said: “I am so excited and honoured to be representing Team GB in Rio this summer; it’s a dream come true and something I’ve wanted ever since I got into the sport.
“The next few weeks of preparation are so important and thanks to the support from UK Sport & British Weight Lifting, I’m 100% focused on ensuring that I’m in the best possible condition heading into Rio and I can’t wait to go out there and do my best!”
Sonny Webster said: “The Olympics is undoubtedly the biggest stage for the sport and to be given the opportunity to represent my country in Rio this summer is something I’m incredibly proud of.
“I’ve been training well and my recent performance at the British Championships has given me a fantastic platform to build on; the next few weeks of preparation are absolutely crucial and I’ll be doing all that I can to get the best possible result for the team in Rio.”
The athletes will be supported in Rio by team leader and British Weight Lifting performance director Tommy Yule, and British Weight Lifting coaches Eddie Halstead and Dave Sawyer.
Weightlifting team leader and British Weight Lifting performance director, Tommy Yule, said: “I’m very proud of both Rebekah and Sonny and their efforts in getting selected to represent Team GB in Rio this summer.
“Both have been progressing really well; Rebekah winning senior medals both at the Europeans in April and last month’s British Championships, and Sonny also setting new British under 23 records and achieving personal bests in what was the final competition before the Games. Our focus is now on maintaining and building on their progress over the next few weeks, to give both athletes the best chance of performing in Rio.”
British Weight Lifting CEO, Ashley Metcalfe, said: “On behalf of British Weight Lifting, I want to wish huge congratulations to both Rebekah and Sonny on their Olympic selection – we are hugely proud of their performances and their places as part of Team GB are thoroughly well-deserved.
“They are both outstanding young lifters, with enormous potential and we hope they really enjoy the opportunity to showcase their talents on the highest stage.”
The Rio 2016 Olympic Games will take place from 05-21 August; around 350 athletes from 23 sports are expected to represent Team GB in Rio this summer.