Team GB weightlifter Zoe Smith is looking forward to competing against some of her idols when she lifts in the 58kg category at the London Olympic Games on Monday afternoon.
The 18-year-old from London was speaking after her first training session at the EXCEL Arena in London’s Docklands area, the day after the five-strong squad arrived in the Olympic village.
"I look at the start list and think 'Jesus Christ'”, she said. “Novikava has been leading the field for miles and she has made massive gains this year. She is someone I have watched on TV for years.
"It is incredible to think I will competing on the same platform as her. It is a real privilege to be competing with all of them."
And Smith, who will be competing at her first Olympic Games, added: “I am thinking of getting a tattoo around my wrist of my coach's motto: 'You don't need luck, just the opportunity,' along with the Olympic Rings."
Smith lifts in the 58kg category, and is the first of five GB athletes in action, lifting on Monday, July 30 in the afternoon.
The following day Holyhead’s Gareth Evans is in action in the men’s 69kg category, with Kent-born Jack Oliver competing the following day, August 1, in the 77kg.
And the same day, Swansea’s Natasha Perdue will compete in the women’s 69kg class. It is 40 years since her late father Terry Perdue competed for Great Britain at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
And the last of the GB weightlifters t compete will be Scotland’s Peter Kirkbride, who lifts in the men’s 94kg category on Saturday, August 4.