Emily Campbell produces record-breaking performance to win Commonwealth gold

Campbell’s cumulative total of 286kg from the snatch and clean-and-jerk disciplines set new Games and Commonwealth records.

By Press Association Published: 3 August 2022 - 5.27pm

Emily Campbell strode to the stage sporting red and white bunches and some candid advice from weightlifting royalty before delivering a record-breaking performance to add Commonwealth Games gold to her Olympic silver medal.

Campbell’s cumulative total of 286kg from the snatch and clean-and-jerk disciplines set new Games and Commonwealth marks and also saw the 28-year-old eclipse by three kilograms the personal best she had previously set in Tokyo last summer.

Afterwards Campbell paid tribute to four-time Commonwealth champion Precious McKenzie, now 86 years old, who watched from the front row. The pair have been the subjects of a play, ‘Precious Emily’, about their respective routes through the sport which has been staged at West Midlands theatres.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Day Six
Emily Campbell sent Birmingham wild with victory in the women’s +87kg event (Isaac Parkin/PA)

“Precious is immense in his own right,” said Campbell. “His words to me before I came out today were, ‘everybody is expecting you to win – you go out and win.’ I couldn’t have asked for any better advice.

“Precious has done immense things for weightlifting and he’s still here at 86 years old giving back to the sport. When Precious McKenzie tells you to go out and win, you go out and win.”

The 28-year-old Campbell, who had shared flag-bearing duties at last week’s opening ceremony, wrapped up what she described as her “perfect Games” with six consecutive clean lifts that saw her comfortably beat silver medallist Feagaiga Stowers and Australian Charisma Amoe-Tarrant to guarantee gold with two lifts remaining.

“Precious is immense in his own right. His words to me before I came out today were, 'everybody is expecting you to win - you go out and win.' When Precious McKenzie tells you to go out and win, you go out and win.”
- Emily Campbell

It is a mark of Campbell’s surging potential that she had placed third behind Stowers and Amoe-Tarrant on the Gold Coast four years ago, delivering a total of 242kg, prior to her unexpected performance in the Japanese capital that thrust her and her sport to international attention.

Campbell led by three kilograms after the opening snatch portion of the event, setting a new personal best and Games record in the process, before consecutive failures on 154kg by Stowers in the clean-and-jerk gifted the raucous culmination of the event to Campbell.

First she successfully raised the bar at 157kg before returning to eclipse her Tokyo total with a final lift of 162kg, celebrating in front of capacity crowd at the NEC.

England’s Emily Campbell (centre) poses with her gold medal alongside Samoa’s Feagaiga Stowers (left) and Charisma Amoe-Tarrant
England’s Emily Campbell (centre) poses with her gold medal alongside Samoa’s Feagaiga Stowers (left) and Charisma Amoe-Tarrant (Isaac Parkin/PA)

“I’d done it in training but never on stage, and what a time to do it,” added Campbell. “To get personal bests and six out of six lifts, it’s what every weightlifter aims for. I couldn’t be happier with the way it went today. Some would say it has been the perfect Games.”

Campbell will now refocus on winning a second career medal at the World Championships in Bogota, Colombia, later this year, following the bronze she took in Tashkent in 2021.

In doing so she says she will savour the memory of winning her first Commonwealth Games gold medal at a home Games 

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a crowd that immense and that reactive as well, they were sensational,” added Campbell.

“That’s all you want from a weightlifting competition. Those weights are heavy, you’ve got to lift it all by yourself, and to have that crowd behind you is fantastic.”

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