WEIGHTLIFTING: Watson delighted with Commonwealth Games call-up

Didcot weightlifter Ben Watson is looking forward to competing for England in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

Didcot weightlifter Ben Watson is looking forward to competing for England in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Sports Editor. Call me on 01865 425457

Ben Watson is targeting a top-five finish after being selected in England’s weightlifting team for the Commonwealth Games in July.

The 24-year-old from St Birinus Club in Didcot, who heard of his selection yesterday, is considered a likely medal prospect in Glasgow.

“I don’t want to put any extra pressure on myself by making a bold prediction or stating a target figure,” said Watson, who will be competing in the 105 kilogram category.

“But I would be very happy to finish in the top five.

“At the Commonwealth tournament last year I came sixth, so fifth would be a definite improvement.”

Watson has been a nailed-on selection for the 14-strong team since winning the English title in February with a two-lift total of 335kg.

This was only three kilograms less than the winning total at the Games in Delhi four years ago.

He sees his main threats coming from the Pacific Islands and Australia.

“I’m really excited about competing and it’s all the sweeter for having missed out on selection in 2010.

“It will be reward for all the hard work I’ve put in over the years,” added Watson who says he trains nine times a week.

He has been earmarked for success shortly after taking up the sport in 2002, under the guidance of his coach Philip Karlsson, then a teacher at St Birinus School.

It was Karlsson who was responsible for making the club one of the strongest in the country.

Watson is helping to maintain that the club tradition by coaching youngsters in addition to his role as a teaching assistant at the school.

He is not concerned about the elbow injury that forced him to quit midway through this month’s British Championships.

“It was only a niggle, but I didn’t want to risk making it worse,” he said.

“Because of my performance at the English Championships, I had the qualifying mark for the Games.

“Now I’m training hard to make sure I reach my potential in Glasgow.

Although he does not compete in the Clyde Auditorium until Wednesday July 30, Watson is looking forward to attending the opening ceremony on July 23.

“I expect the English coaches will want us to stay up in Scotland to train, but it will be nice that my parents and brother will be able to come and watch me compete,” said Watson.

He had to break off the conversation to take another coaching session.

“It keeps me grounded,” said the competitor with a chance of bringing a medal back to Oxfordshire.

Our top stories:

Top surgeon backs pro-Palestinian festival

Oxford Mail:

10:00am Monday 25th May 2015

AN OXFORD surgeon who performed Britain’s first successful heart transplant has backed the city’s first Palestine festival.

Man wanted after Didcot murders works for town council

Oxford Mail:

8:42am Monday 25th May 2015

THE MAN suspected of killing Philip Howard, Janet Jordon and Derin Jordon is employed as an apprentice gardener for Didcot Town Council.

Didcot murders: Smiling face of teenager with the sister he is suspected of killing

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 25th May 2015

CRADLING his baby sister Derin, this is a teenage Jed Allen, the man suspected of killing her and their mother in a house in Didcot.

Didcot murders: More than 100 police officers hunt suspect in three killings

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 25th May 2015

TRIPLE murder suspect Jed Allen was still being sought by police today in an operation involving more than 100 officers.

Locomotion gets festival fun moving

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 25th May 2015

BANK holiday weekend events got off on the right track on Saturday as visitors celebrated the historic locomotives on show at Didcot Railway Centre.

Fears that new Frideswide Square ‘a hazard for blind’

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Monday 25th May 2015

A REVAMPED Frideswide Square in Oxford could become a no-go area for blind people, campaigners fear.

Dogs train alongside one another at special club

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Monday 25th May 2015

SADIE the golden retriever showed off her newest tricks at a training session at the Fair Weather Dog Training Club.

Troubled families will get more help with problems

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 25th May 2015

THOUSANDS more families in Oxfordshire are set to be helped by a scheme aimed at people struggling with crime, employment, health and education.

Awe-struck crowds line city’s streets to see soldiers’ parade

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 25th May 2015

FOR a moment you could have heard a pin drop as the men of 7th Battalion The Rifles lined up along St Giles.

Somewhere over the rainbow there’s a sea of charity runners

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Monday 25th May 2015

EXPLOSIONS of colour brightened up Cutteslowe Park yesterday as more than 700 runners were splattered with paint to raise money for a hospice.

Classical music rocks for young string musicians at showcase

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Monday 25th May 2015

YOUNG musicians from 50 Oxfordshire schools showed their playing skills at a special Baroque rock string day organised by Oxfordshire County Council’s music service.

City council head of planning standing down after 13 years

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Monday 25th May 2015

THE man who has overseen major planning decisions in Oxford over the past 13 years, Michael Crofton-Briggs, is standing down.

It’s DIY jewellery time

Oxford Mail:

5:00am Monday 25th May 2015

A RETIRED goldsmith with over 60 years of experience helped jewellery enthusiasts make their own trinkets.

City farm funding bid needs public votes to realise plans

Oxford Mail:

5:00am Monday 25th May 2015

A GROUP working to set up Oxford’s first city farm are leading the county’s bid for £25,000 in charitable funding.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree