Ben Watson has revealed he won Commonwealth Games bronze despite having a stress fracture to his right shin.
The 24-year-old weightlifter, from Didcot, finished third for England in the 105kg category at Glasgow 2014.
Watson had to fight through the pain barrier to do so, but only admitted his battle in an interview with the Oxford Mail.
“I got to Glasgow and we had to have a ten-minute chat with a doctor, who sent me for an X-ray,” said Watson.
“The X-ray came back and my shin was cracked. They sent me for an MRI scan after that.
“We had to sit down to see whether I could compete.
“My response was that I was going to compete. I hadn’t come that far to miss out.
“I had to minimise walking and stress on my leg before the competition.”
Watson led the event after the snatch before his clean and jerk effort secured a bronze medal.
He said: “In the second half of the competition, I was in pain, but you don’t stop in the Commonwealth Games.
“I had trained so hard to get there, that was my whole attitude.”
Watson is a teaching assistant at St Birinus School, Didcot, where he also learnt the sport under the guise of teacher and coach Philip Karlsson.
And Karlsson was among the first to congratulate him after taking bronze.
“After the medal ceremony, a lot of the volunteers wanted photos,” said Watson.
“But we were then grabbed by doping control, so that brought you back down to earth a little bit.”
Soon afterwards, Karlsson was able to get through to the dressing room area.
“He was the reason that I started the sport in the first place, so it was quite fitting that he was the person to see me afterwards.
“He’s still coaching me now.”
Watson was hopeful of a top five or six finish beforehand, but to get a medal was a dream come true.
“Halfway through I was in the lead after the snatch, which was my stronger part,” he said.
“I thought then I can do something here. I put myself in a position to compete.
“And then with other people not going so well, I was able to get a medal.
“We had had a lot of fourth-place finishes in weightlifting and I thought this was another one, but it turned out well.”
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