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UEL weightlifter wins bronze at World University Games

Mercy Brown secures medal with ‘do or die’ lift in Chinese Taipei

University of East London (UEL) weightlifter Mercy Brown twice broke her British record to secure a bronze medal for Great Britain at the World University Games in Chinese Taipei.

The 21-year-old, who has also competed for England at the Commonwealth Games, initially struggled in the snatch category in the women’s 90kg+ competition, falling 7kg short of her personal best with a lift of 98kg.

However, she fought straight back with lifts of 134kg and 136kg in the clean and jerk, twice breaking her previous GB record of 131kg, to seal a deserved bronze medal – one of nine medals won by GB athletes at the Games.

Mercy, who has recently completed her degree in Sports and Exercise Science at UEL, knew that she needed the performance of her life in the clean and jerk if she was to challenge for a medal.

“The 134kg was a PB [personal best] and I was standing there thinking, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to get this over my head,’ but I got it.

“Then the 136kg was a really big PB. I put it on the bar and it was a ‘do or die’ lift. I was thinking, ‘If I don’t do this, I’m not going to get a medal.”

Mercy had only originally taken up weightlifting to help her pass her GCSE in PE and never imagined she would compete at international level.

“I was one those kids in school that people didn’t even expect to finish secondary school so to be at this point now is just crazy,” she explained. “I have to pinch myself now.”

Mercy was one of three UEL representatives at the Games, with sprinter Corinne Humphreys and swimmer Michael Gunning also seeing action.

Corinne, who was recently selected for the GB 4x100 metres squad at the London 2017 World Athletics Championships, narrowly missed out on a medal after finishing an agonising fourth in the 100 metres final.

Michael competed as the only swimmer for Jamaica but was eliminated in the heats of the 200 metres butterfly. 

The World University Games is the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympics, with close to 10,000 participants from more than 170 countries competing in dozens of sports.