STEVEN Ward cleaned up at the British Weightlifting Championships as he snatched a national title.
STEVEN Ward cleaned up at the British Weightlifting Championships as he snatched a national title.His lifts of 142kg in the snatch and 175kg in the clean and jerk were good enough for him to become overall champion in the 85 kilo class.
It is a tremendous boost for Ward who has only just returned to competition after a long-lay-off with a knee injury.
But he is already preparing himself for the defence of his title in January, when he knows the competition will be much tougher with Commonwealth Games spots at place.
"It was not an easy competition to win, but it was far from being the hardest," said Ward who won the Commonwealth gold in Kuala Lumpar..
"I lifted well below my personal best, but that was to be expected as I have only been training for 10 weeks.
"I am just looking for a gradual improvement and to peak towards the end of the year and then maintain it through to the nationals in January which will be much tougher with Commonwealth Games places up for grabs."
Ward claimed his Commonwealth gold in the snatch three years ago and picked up silvers in the clean and jerk and overall competition.
The man who robbed him of a golden hat-trick, team-mate Leon Griffin, missed the British Championships through injury, but he is expected to be back in action during the winter in time for the Commonwealth Games qualifiers.
"That is one fight that I don t think I will be able to escape from," said Ward.
"He is back in training and will be back in competition soon and will be aiming to peak for next year s championships.
"The number of places available has been reduced from 10 to eight, so it will be tougher to qualify this time around.
"Last time I knew I was almost certain to qualify, but this time around it is going to be a lot tougher.
"But so far things are going in the right direction and as long as things continue to progress as they are I will be happy."