Baugh sets sights on Glasgow 2014
YOUNG weightlifting hope Ryan Baugh has got his sights firmly set on a Commonwealth Games place.
Baugh, just 15, faces a one-off qualification round for the Games, which are being held in Glasgow in 2014.
The Ivybridge Community College student, who has been nominated for The Herald's Young Sports Personality of the Year, has recently hit the headlines by winning a title at the British Under-18 Championships.
He sealed first place in a nail-biting final with a new best combined total of 193kg.
Baugh, trained by former Ivybridge Community College PE teacher and Commonwealth Games medallist Michaela Breeze, said one of his main aims next year was to qualify for the European Youth Championships and take part in the Fulda International Cup in Austria.
The 15-year-old, however, is already turning his attention to the Commonwealths.
He said: "Next year, I'd like to qualify for the Euros – I missed out by only 5kg on the qualifying weight.
"But to reach the Commonwealth Games in 2014 would be fantastic.
"I'm not quite sure when qualification is – I think it's in the middle of 2014 – but I do know you only get once chance at it.
"It's on the day, or nothing. It makes it more nerve-wracking, but I handle pressure really well.
"Pressure helps me perform better – I think it's something to do with the adrenalin."
Baugh, who is studying for his GCSEs, said being up against older competitors in the under-18 age group did not faze him.
Baugh, who doesn't turn 16 until August next year, said: "It doesn't worry me when other competitors are a couple of years older than me.
"In fact, it makes me happy when I beat them – it's a tremendous feeling.
"Actually, it's a tremendous feeling when I even qualify for a competition."
Baugh admits he doesn't know why he got into weightlifting.
He said: "It's really difficult to explain why – I can't find the words to explain what the attraction is.
"I get a huge buzz when I take part in a big competition and I get something out of weightlifting more than I get out of any other sport."
Baugh's achievements this year have included breaking 11 under-15 British records in three competitions.
He also won three titles at the Fulda Cup in June.