Preston's weightlifting former beauty queen Sarah Davies wins Commonwealth gold

Preston’s Sarah Davies emerged from a “tough” period in her weightlifting career to end her silver streak and win Commonwealth Games gold for England in Birmingham.

Davies triumphed in the women’s 71kg final after runners-up spots at European and World Championships, as well as the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Victory for the 29-year-old came in her first international competition after she had been deselected from England and Great Britain teams for three months for making comments of a discriminatory nature against a fellow athlete.

“It’s been a tough period, but I’ve learned from it and educated myself,” said Davies, the former Miss Leeds and Miss West Yorkshire who swapped beauty pageants for the world of weightlifting.

Sarah Davies poses with her gold medal after winning in the Women's 71kg Weightlifting Competition at The NEC on day four of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

“I’ve learned my lesson and we go from there. I used the time (since mid-April) to train myself, as there were no domestic competitions in that period.

“There have been a lot of second places, but the tables have turned now and taking silver is finally over.”

Davies held a three kilos lead over Nigeria’s Joy Ogbonne Eze after setting a new Games snatch record of 103kg.

Eze would leave the arena in tears after three no-lifts in the clean and jerk category.

Davies also failed with her first clean and jerk attempt before steadying herself to lift 126kg and relegate Canada’s Alexis Ashworth and India’s Harjinder Kaur to the minor medals.

“The lion in me came out to fight on the second one,” she said. “I wasn’t leaving it down to the third attempt.”