Former Brighton University student wins silver medal at Commonwealth Games

Jessica Gordon-Brown – Picture by Isaac Parkin / PA

A former Brighton University student has won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games after “stumbling” upon sport during her studies.

Jessica Gordon-Brown reflected fondly on the “happy accident” that led to her pursuing weightlifting after claiming a Commonwealth Games silver in the women’s 59kg final.

A once budding judoka as well as a national acrobatic gymnastics champion at one point, Gordon-Brown happened upon what would prove to be her true calling in her final year at Brighton University.

The 26-year-old from Harefield said: “I’m so glad that finally after doing three different sports I found the one for me. “I think I’m built for it and I glad I stumbled into it. A happy accident.”

Gordon-Brown lifted 86kg in the snatch and then 111kg in the clean and jerk for a combined 197kg, enough for second place which she celebrated with a backflip at Birmingham’s NEC Arena.

Rafiatu Folashade Lawal, from Nigeria, set a new Games record with 206kg to capture the gold medal while Tali Darsigny from Canada took bronze after lifting just 1kg less than an ecstatic Gordon-Brown.

Gordon-Brown said: “It wasn’t a perfect backflip but it just shows how much I had to put into that last clean and jerk.”

She became England’s second weightlifting medallist of the Games, with Fraer Morrow collecting bronze in the women’s 55kg category yesterday (Saturday 30 July).

She added: “I didn’t really know how to celebrate. It just happened. That was sheer euphoria. I haven’t quite accepted what’s just happened yet.

“It’s something I’ve been dreaming about for a very long time, something I never would have thought I’d hear and it’s really nice to see the hard work finally pay off.”

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