A former University of Brighton student has won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games after she ‘stumbled’ into the sport while studying.
Jessica Gordon-Brown has reflected fondly on the “happy accident” that led her to pursue weightlifting after winning a Commonwealth Games silver medal in the women’s 59kg final.
Once a budding judoka and national acrobatic gymnastics champion at one point, Gordon-Brown stumbled upon what would turn out to be her true calling during her final year at the University of Brighton.
The 26-year-old from Harefield said: “I’m so happy that finally, after playing three different sports, I’ve found the one that’s right for me. “I think I was made for this and I’m glad I stumbled into this. A happy accident.
Gordon-Brown lifted 86kg in the snatch, then 111kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 197kg, enough for second place which she celebrated with a backflip at the NEC Arena in Birmingham.
Nigeria’s Rafiatu Folashade Lawal set a new Games record with 206kg to win the gold medal while Canada’s Tali Darsigny won bronze after lifting just 1kg less than an ecstatic Gordon-Brown.
Gordon-Brown said, “It wasn’t a perfect backflip, but it shows how much I had to put into that last clean and jerk.”
She became England’s second weightlifting medalist at the Games, with Fraer Morrow clinching bronze in the women’s 55kg category yesterday (Saturday July 30).
She added: “I didn’t really know how to celebrate. It just happened. It was pure euphoria. I haven’t quite come to terms with what just happened yet.
“It’s something I’ve been dreaming about for a very long time, something I never thought I’d hear and it’s really nice to see the hard work finally paying off.”