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Teenage weightlifter on a mission of Mercy

HEAVY LOAD: Mercy Brown in action

MERCY BROWN is set to represent Great Britain at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Junior World Championships that begin in Wroclaw this month.

The 18-year-old Londoner travels to Poland having recovered from an ankle injury sustained earlier this year. She also hopes to defend her 75kg+ title at the British Senior Championships at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena on June 28.

Brown is undefeated nationally and given that she holds every British record from under-16 level up until senior level it is tempting to talk about her medal prospects at major competitions, although she is reluctant to do so.

“I wouldn’t say that my goal is to win a major medal because it’s easy to say and harder to do,” she told the Voice of Sport.

“There are steps that have to be taken in order to achieve that sort of thing. My priority is establishing myself internationally and that means going out and trying to win those junior medals, working my way through the junior ranks.
“There’s always progression and eventually winning a major medal might be the case.”

Brown, who initially began weightlifting to supplement her PE GSCE, represented England at last summer’s Commonwealth Games and could represent Team GB at the Rio Olympics next summer. She will participate in a series of qualifying competitions that culminate in the IWF World Championships in Houston in November.

INSPIRATION: The teenager is an example to others

Last month Brown took a break from her studies at the University of Loughborough to join an intergenerational panel at the Women’s Sport Trust’s #BeAGameChanger Awards where she spoke alongside Olympic gold medallists Lizzy Yarnold and Nicole Cooke, as well as former England cricket captain Baroness Rachel Heyhoe-Flint.

Brown was “surprised” by her invitation but enjoyed the experience and is keen to play down talk of her as role model just yet.

“People tend to forget that I’m really young in the sport, I’m only 18, so to be someone’s role model at this age is a big ask.

“I obviously have to go through my own life choices, decisions, and I will make mistakes and I have to learn for myself as a young person.”

Yet she recognises that her progression is an example to others. “I want to inspire people to know that they can do what I am doing. There are always opportunities so the idea of inspiring a generation is really important to me.”

She has made a promising start.

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