Weightlifter Noorin Gulam said the home crowd “lit her fire” after she broke her own British record to take sixth place at the Commonwealth Games.
Hayes star Gulam, 26, registered a total of 161kg in the women’s 49kg, just one kilogram more than the mark she set at the trials for the London Games earlier this year.
Gulam managed 73kg with the pacifier before clearing and jerking 88kg in front of friends and family at Birmingham’s NEC, some of whom were watching her perform live for the very first time.
“I think it’s been an amazing journey to have these Commonwealth Games at home, especially to be able to have friends and family in the crowd,” said Gulam, who has a degree in sports psychology and coaching science from Bournemouth University.
“For many of my family, it’s the first time I’ve seen myself lift even after so many years in the sport. It’s been amazing to have them on this journey and to be able to witness things like breaking British records in it real life.
“I think it adds an element of pressure being a home game, you want to make the crowd proud and be able to perform in front of everyone you love.
“But it also fuels the fire as well, it really makes you want to bring your A-game and that’s definitely what I was aiming to achieve today.”
Gulam revealed she was leaving no stone unturned in the run-up to the Games, moving into a part-time role as a marketing manager and enlisting a nutritionist to help her recover and prepare after battling injuries in the past.
She added: “It’s been quite a journey but I wouldn’t change it for anything, I really wanted to make sure I was as prepared as I possibly could be for these Games.
“I’ve really tried to focus on all aspects of being an athlete and tried to make sure that absolutely everything was perfect before these Games.
“I felt pretty ready to be my absolute best self on stage today, especially after a great performance in the England trials.
“It’s a fantastic time for weightlifting in the UK, it’s really excellent and for me to continue to develop after 11 years of lifting, I’m just over the moon to still be competitive at that standard after so long.”
Gulam is now looking forward to some downtime and is tempted to push for the Olympic Games as 49kg is included in the program for Paris 2024 with the second highest category 10kg heavier.
But having first taken up the sport in GCSE PE, she is ready to allow herself to gain weight and push her strength to the limit.
She explained: “For me now I think it’s going to be a bit of a rest. It has been a six-month journey of intensive training and first trying to qualify and then being in the best possible shape.
“Who knows what’s next for me, we’re going into an Olympic year which is always very exciting.
“Coming to Paris would mean the absolute world. It has been a long journey to get down to this weight class, but it is whether I can perform and develop in this weight class.
“It’s deciding if I want to stay or split and let my body get stronger and move up and after almost 12 years in the sport it’s probably time to step up and get stronger and see what my body can really do. “
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