He does not fit the weightlifting stereotype. Jack Oliver is a Classics student at the University of Leeds and the baby of the Team GB men’s weightlifting team. Like many students, he likes a lie-in.
So it was this morning … even though he had a major date in the Weightlifting Hall. In fact, he didn’t wake up until his coach sharply knocked on his door.
But the youngster from Sidcup, Kent, produced a wide-awake performance in the B Group of the 77kg competition. Twice he set new personal bests in the clean and jerk section after carding 140kg in the earlier snatch.
First he eclipsed his previous best clean and jerk of 162kg by lifting 165 and then, to the delight of a raucous home support, he reappeared to lift 170kg to finish in fourth place.
A delighted Oliver (pictured), just 21, said: “I woke up an hour late this morning to the sound of my coach banging on my bedroom door. The sleep did me good and I had less time to think about the competition.
“I just got on with it. I’m really pleased with the PBs especially as in the warm-up area I struggled to lift 153kg in the clean and jerk.”
Perhaps he was still waking up. If he needed rousing, the crowd did it for him and he admitted: “I’m convinced the crowd helped me take off 10kg from the weight on the bar with their support rather than putting it on. They were great..
“My objective was to make PBs at the Olympics and I have done it.”
His late mornings in bed may be coming to an end, however, as he said: “I will find out later today about an exam I have to do this month – so I have to start revising.”