Bexleyheath's Jack Oliver records weightlifting personal best
WEIGHTLIFTING wonder Jack Oliver smashed his own personal best and equaled the British record at his first Olympics.
The 21-year-old, who was born in Sidcup and raised in Bexleyheath, competed against four other men in the B group for the men's 77kg category.
A crowd of 6,000 people roared into life when Oliver took to the platform at the ExCeL this morning for his first attempt at the snatch.
Oliver, whose nickname is Jack The Snatch, failed to lift 135kg but successfully managed the same weight for his second attempt.
His third attempt saw him lift 140kg, which was two kilos short of his snatch personal best and just 5kg away from David Morgan's British record of 145kg.
Oliver, who trains at the Europa Gym in Erith with Abbey Wood's Zoe Smith, took to the clean and jerk round with ease.
The 5ft 6ins tall star lifted 160kg on his first attempt, followed by 165kg for his second attempt.
The crowd went wild when Oliver lifted 170kg for his third go, five kilos heavier than his clean and jerk best and equaling the British record.
Oliver finished his group in fourth position with a total of 310 - six kilos more than his previous finest.
He 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.
"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."
Eight lifters in the elite A group are due to compete this evening.
Oliver, who has brains as well as brawn, studies classics at Leeds University and suffered heartbreak at the British Senior Championships in May when he failed all three snatch attempts.