Chorley weightlifter Olivia Broome "so happy" to win bronze medal at Paralympics
Chorley powerlifter Olivia Broome was thrilled to win a bronze medal at the Paralympics in Tokyo.
Competing in the 50kg weight category, Broome finished third on the podium behind China's Hu Dandan, who won gold, and silver medal winner Rehab Ahmed, of Egypt.
Broome produced a best lift of 107kg, although both Dandan and Ahmed were able to raise a weight of 120kg.
"I'm so happy," said Broome, who is of short stature. "I couldn't believe it when I came off the platform - I haven't stopped smiling.
"The lift itself felt great. Opening on my personal best was a little bit daunting, but I've done it before, I've done it plenty of times and I had to tell myself that in the warm-up.
"It was just like we practised it in training. It was nervy but also exciting."
Broome is the latest short stature success story for ParalympicsGB, with Maisie Summers-Newton winning S6 200m freestyle gold in the pool on Thursday night.
It seems a connection to five-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds is the tie that binds them having watched her win gold at Beijing 2008 aged 13.
"It's a massive inspiration to see people like Ellie doing so well," said Broome.
"When I was a lot younger, there weren't many short stature athletes in the Paralympics and now to see more and more coming through, it's incredible."
Broome was identified as suited to powerlifting through UK Sport's talent identification programme and made her international debut at the 2017 World Championships.
The north-west lifter admits that the postponement of the Paralympics played into her hands, giving her more time to reach a podium-level performance.
"I came her treating these Games as just for experience with a long career ahead of me," she said.
"Even my family back home asked me about Paris and I just wanted to get my first one under my belt.
"If the Games weren't postponed it would have been a different story, but a lot changed and now I'm here."
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