Weightlifting's Helen Jewell, from Ivybridge, misses out on Olympics
TOP weightlifter Helen Jewell was philosophical about missing out on a place in this summer's Olympics after just losing her race to be ready for the London 2012 Games.
Former Ivybridge Community College student Jewell, who has recently moved back to the South Hams town after a spell in Leeds, was always up against it after a shoulder operation robbed her of three months' worth of preparation.
Physiotherapist Jewell, 23, only returned to serious lifting at the beginning of the year after injuring her shoulder last September.
She admitted she was disappointed, but not surprised at her omission from the Great Britain weightlifting squad, which was announced yesterday.
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Instead, Jewell looked to a post-Olympics career with the Great Britain team at the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
Five athletes – three men and two women – were selected ahead of Jewell.
Jewell said: "I kind of prepared myself that I wouldn't be going, because I wasn't in a strong position.
"I just missed out on lifting the weight I had to get (for the Olympics) at the British Nationals, but I've got other things to look forward to this summer.
"I've just become an aunt for the second time, because my sister has just given birth to a baby girl.
"I've moved back to Ivybridge, where I'm at my sister's looking after her dog.
"I moved back home to try and get some work down here and give competing a bit of a rest."
Jewell said she felt less pressurised now working towards an Olympic place was over.
She said: "Things really got on top of me – I decided to leave Leeds a few weeks before the announcement and I feel much happier doing that.
"As for the shoulder, I can live with that – there are some days when it's worse than others, but lifting-wise it really isn't an issue.
"What I want to do is to get the buzz back again and enjoy it (lifting). I'll be looking for competitions at the end of the year.
"I've moved up to the 63kg category, so I've put on a few pounds in muscle.
"I want to go for the World Championships next year, because I missed the last one.
"The reason I missed out was the shoulder operation, so I definitely want to do the worlds.
"It's in Texas next year, and I've always wanted to go to America. There's also the Commonwealth Games in 2014."
Ex Cardiff University student Jewell was one of Commonwealth Games medallist Michaela Breeze's students. Breeze recently announced her decision to move back to her home country of Wales after teaching gifted athletes at Ivybridge Community College.