Caerphilly weightlifting star Michael Farmer admits he has unfinished business at the Commonwealth Championships as he bids to put his heartbreak firmly behind him. The 19-year-old Bangor University student, who trains at Willpower Weightlifting Club, previously finished just outside the medals at the 69kg category at the 2016 event in Malaysia.
Michael has lofty ambitions in the sport and has set himself the target of winning a medal at the next Commonwealth Games in Birmingham before trying to top the podium in 2026. But before he can turn his focus to delivering on his promise at a major championship, Michael insists his first priority is avenging his agonising near–miss as he targets medal success.
“I first got into weightlifting when I was 16 and before that I did CrossFit,” he said. “I was always quite good at the weightlifting side of it and I looked at the records and saw I was beating them. By the end of the year I had been to a Europeans and the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships so it has been a pretty quick progression for me in the sport.
“I came fourth at the Commonwealth Championships one year, which was heart-breaking as I was so close to getting a medal, but it was probably my biggest achievement. Lifting for GB for the first time was also a big thing for me and this season we have the Commonwealth Championships against so I’m looking to win that.
“I think winning the gold in that would cement my place in my career so far and really set me up for the next Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022. My plan is to medal at the next Commonwealth Games in 2022 and then the next one after that I want to win it, before looking towards the Olympics to see what I can do.”
Michael was speaking at a SportsAid workshop being hosted in partnership with GVC – the multi-national sports betting and gaming group – at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London. GVC are supporting 50 athletes across 33 sports, with each one receiving a financial award and personal development opportunities through SportsAid, including support around nutrition, mentoring and media training.
Olympian Leon Taylor and Paralympian Millie Knight, who are both SportsAid alumni, were also on hand at the workshop to share their experiences of elite level sport. And Leon, who delivered a mentoring session, said: “I’ve been involved with SportsAid for many years as an ambassador and it started when I received a SportsAid award as a young athlete.
“I really know how much of a difference getting that recognition can make. I’m supporting the cause now as a retired athlete because I know what the journey is like.”
GVC is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Visit gvc-plc.com to find out more.