London 2012: Teenage weightlifter Zoe Smith makes Team GB

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter

Commonwealth bronze medallist Zoe Smith will make her Olympic debut this summer after being named in the five-strong GB weightlifting squad for London 2012.

Smith, 18, achieved the Olympic A standard twice and finished fourth at April's European Championships.

"I'm elated to have been selected for the team," said Greenwich-born Smith.

"It has been a nerve-wracking period ahead of selection, so I'm glad that I've secured my place to say I'll be representing Team GB!"

The teenager will be joined in the squad of five by veteran Welsh lifter Natasha Perdue.

The 36-year-old who combines training with full time work at a refuse collection centre in Leeds will be following in the footsteps of her father, Terry, who competed at the 1968 and 1972 Olympics.

"I can't describe in words how happy I feel and I keep pinching myself to make sure I'm not dreaming," said Perdue.

"I waited two weeks for the call, and when it came I didn't want to answer it in case it was bad news.

"I asked them to repeat it about three times just to make sure."

Scotland's Commonwealth silver medallist -94kg Peter Kirkbride is the highest profile lifter in the three-strong men's squad.

The 24-year-old has endured a difficult 18 months after a series of injuries disrupted his training regime, but he hopes to be back to peak form by the Games.

"I'm excited to find out about being selected as part of the team," said Kirkbride.

Winning Commonwealth silver was a great moment for me, and I hope to perform better than I did in Delhi."

Wales' -67kg lifter Gareth Evans, who left both his family and full-time job up to move to Leeds and train full-time with the GB squad, joins Kirkbride in the Olympic team.

"I'm ecstatic," he said. "It is testament to the sacrifice I have made and the hard work I have put in over the years.

"I would just like to thank everyone who has supported me so far."

Despite struggling at the Olympic trials in May, 20-year-old Jack Oliver is included in the team as a result of his promising displays over the past 18 months, which included British records at the World Championships.

"I feel ready to rise to the occasion and try to make my country proud," said Oliver.

The weightlifting events will take place between 28 July and 7 August at London's ExCel Centre at this summer's London 2012 Olympic Games.

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