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8 July 2010 | PR 10/106

History in the making for Helena

Helena Wong

Helena Wong pictured after winning second place at the British Senior Weightlifting Championships in June.

LOUGHBOROUGH University student Helena Wong will make history at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October by becoming the first ever woman weightlifter to be selected by Singapore to take part in a major athletic event.

And incredibly, the second year Sport and Exercise student has only been involved in the sport for just over a year!

She started off self-coaching from the internet and from books from June 2009 to February 2010 after being introduced to the sport by UK Athletics strength and conditioning Tommy Yule, but since March Helena has been under the guidance of Cyril Martin and has literally gone from strength to strength.

Competing in the women’s 53kg category, Helena’s first competition in February, the English Weightlifting Championship, saw her lift a total of 119kg (53kg snatch, 66kg clean and jerk), but by her second outing, the British Senior Weightlifting Championship in Kilmarnock last month, Helena had increased that to 132kg (62kg snatch, 70kg clean and jerk) to claim second place, just 14kg behind winner Joanne Calvino from the Crystal Palace club.

Throughout her training Cyril Martin has been sending regular reports back to the Singapore Commonwealth selection committee and both their efforts have been rewarded.

Twenty-two year-old Helena said: “I was overjoyed upon hearing I had been selected. At first I thought, is this for real, but now I know it is, I know will have to work extremely hard between now and the start of the Games.”

As well as continuing her studies at Loughborough, Helena also trains five to six times a week, for two to three hours at a time.

“I originally set myself a goal of making it to the international stage within a year. Initially I didn’t think it was realistic, but over the short time I came to believe that maybe it was, and now I’ve had the news that I have been selected,” she added.

The Commonwealth Games in Delhi run between October 3 to October 14. This is the first time India has hosted the event, and only the second time they have been held in Asia, following on from the 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


For all media enquiries contact:

Paul Manning
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: D.Coyle@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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