Baugh aims to make big impression
RYAN BAUGH will be disappointed if he does not impress while he rubs shoulders with a tournament brimful of Olympic weightlifting hopefuls this weekend.
Ivybridge Community College's 14-year-old hot prospect will be among the great and good at Derby on Saturday after qualifying for the British Senior Weightlifting Championships.
The event serves as a qualifying tournament for the London 2012 Games and Baugh is going there for the experience, having earned the right to do so by hitting the entry mark in his previous competition.
Despite his youth and diminutive frame, Baugh put together a new personal best figure of 182kgs in a combined snatch, clean and jerk lifts in winning by a country mile the British under-15 title.
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He has steadily improved his PBs in the -62kgs body-weight category while capturing titles and believes he will be inspired to do the same in the sudden-death event at Derby.
"I've done better than that (182kgs) in training so I'm confident that I can better it tomorrow," said Baugh, whose potential is recognised further outside the West Country as a recipient of SportsAid.
"The British Seniors is the last of the qualifiers for the Olympics and the atmosphere is bound to be very competitive and contagious.
"I'm going there as of right and will be using it to learn more and soak in the atmosphere, hopefully, for my future.
"I've got a snatch PB of 80kgs and 102kgs in the clean and jerk and should be able to get past that total.
"There's no guarantee, of course, I may not do well, but I'll be pretty upset with myself if I don't."
Coached by Ivybridge PE teacher and Olympic and Commonwealth Games legend, Michaela Breeze, Baugh has risen swiftly up the rankings and is rated fourth in Britain at under 17, and that is through all weight categories.
The following weekend, Baugh is on international duty at the Fulda Cup in Austria, where he will be bidding to continue his excellent record at the tournament.
Baugh won a silver medal in 2010 and last year his prize was gold, and he is not planning on letting his guard down this year.
He said: "My most immediate goal is to win selection to the (2014) Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and by doing well in many tournaments – senior or junior – the better it'll be."