Rio 2016: Zoe Smith leads GB into final Olympic weightlifting qualifier

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Zoe smith
Zoe Smith broke two British records in her weightlifting World Championship final in 2015

London Olympian Zoe Smith will lead a 14-strong British team at April's European Championships in Norway.

The event represents the final opportunity for GB to attain a maximum of two berths (one male and one female) for August's Rio Olympics.external-link

The UK Sport-funded GB women's team will need to rank in the top six from nations who have not already qualified.

"We'll give it our all to qualify for the Olympics in Rio this summer," Smith told BBC Sport.

"It's going to be a tough competition but I'm confident in my preparations."

GB European Championships squad
Men Women
Jack OliverZoe Smith
Sonny WebsterRebekah Tiler
Gareth EvansSarah Davies
Owen BoxallEmily Godley
Chris FreeburyMercy Brown
Sam HendersonHannah Powell
Darius JorkazadehNoorin Gulam

Commonwealth champion Smith is the lead candidate to represent Team GB should the GB women claim a berth, but rising star Rebekah Tiler is expected to rival her.

Ex-England lifter Hannah Powell - who now aims to represent Wales - will line up at her first major international since the 2011 World Championships.

The unfunded British men's team need a top-seven place at the European Championships in Forde, which run from 10 to 16 April.

They are boosted by Welsh lifter Darius Jokarzadeh's first appearance in the sport since finishing fourth at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The US-based athlete, who wants to be an American footballer, is joined by Olympian Gareth Evans and British champion Sonny Webster in the squad.

"Qualification for this summer's Olympic Games remains extremely competitive," British Weight Lifting performance director Tommy Yule said.

"Our elite lifters have proven themselves more than up to the challenge, however, and have a terrific opportunity in Norway to seal Olympic qualification."

Should GB attain a place or places at the Rio Olympics then athletes will bid to represent Team GB through performances at the British Championships in June.