Timmy Graham’s Commonwealth Games ambition for Northern Ireland pair

Team lead Timmy Graham is hoping Northern Ireland’s two weightlifters going to the summer Commonwealth Games can achieve podium positions.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 12:19 am

Four years ago, on the Gold Coast, Emma McQuaid finished just outside the medals in fourth place in the Women’s 63kg category.

“I hope so,” commented Graham on the team’s medal prospects for Birmingham. “It will depend a lot on what our competitors are doing across the world and some results maybe go our way.

“Hopefully we can get up the rankings as high as we can.”

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Northern Ireland team lead Timmy Graham with, from left, Caroline Doyle and Hannah Crymble in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.

Team NI sent five weightlifters to the Gold Coast - Hannah Crymble and Caroline Doyle will fly the flag in Birmingham.

Crymble, a 26-year-old from Newtownards, was a gymnast in her youth but, after taking up CrossFit, changed to concentrate on weightlifting and will compete in the 59kg class.

Doyle, a 29-year-old from Ballymena, is a former Ulster schools’ hockey player but had to give up the sport after injury.

She will take part at 64kg, having also found her way into weightlifting after some experience of CrossFit.

Graham believes that now the qualification is confirmed the real work begins for building towards the Games.

“It is nice to get the names out, we obviously knew for the last few weeks but now it is finalised, we have got Hannah and we have got Caroline, which is brilliant,” said Graham. “Both girls have different ambitions leading up to the Games,

“Hannah is going to the Europeans (end of May in Albania).

“While Caroline has a nice strength phase ahead of her leading up to the Games.

“Whenever it comes to the Games, we’ll be looking for the best possible totals between the snatch and the clean and jerk.

“They are two new girls coming from the previous sports that they did.

“Caroline came to me just over two years ago and said she wanted to make the cut for the Commonwealth Games, she had already been doing the sport of weightlifting prior to that.

“We knew she had the potential to do really well.

“Hannah was the same...she came over to weightlifting as well.

“The two girls had really good backgrounds in sport to be able to lead into weightlifting.

“They already had athletic capabilities, they are in a good position having already qualified so let’s see how it goes in Birmingham.”

Graham is hoping the home games will hand an advantage to Team NI.

“It’s only across the pond, even better for us we’re on site at the NEC Hilton which is about 100 metres from the training hall and the competition is on site as well, so we are very fortune,” he said. “In Gold Coast last time we had to travel on a bus for 25 minutes to get to the training hall and we were maybe out there three weeks prior to that.

“But it’s nice to just walk across from the hotel to the Birmingham NEC, so that we’ll be convenient for us.”