Chris Freebury is planning on jetting off to the south of France after a lifetime best performance at the Commonwealth Games – and then there’s the small matter of qualifying for the Olympics.
Freebury, who trains at Atlas Gym in Alfreton, coached by Dave Sawyer, enjoyed an altogether different weightlifting experience four years on from making his Commonwealth Games debut at Delhi where, lifting in the B group of the 62kg category, he placed 15th overall.
For one he was placed in the A group, meaning he fought in the evening in front of a packed Clyde Auditorium, and secondly he lifted more than he has ever done before in his career.
Freebury managed 130kg in the snatch and 150kg in the clean and jerk for an overall total of 280kg to place eighth and, once he’s done cheering on the rest of the English weightlifting team, he’ll be taking a short break.
Bordeaux is the destination but it won’t be long before the 25-year-old is targeting further major international outings in order to reach the Rio Olympics in two years time.
“If I’m being honest, the first lift was pretty overwhelming – coming out to a wall of people – but once you found your point to focus on it was fine and it was like any other competition, you just blank it out,” he said.
“It was mind blowing. I was in a B group in Delhi and a bit lighter and a bit earlier on in terms of coming out to perform, so it wasn’t so popular with the crowd.
“But it was a really, really popular and competitive class this time. It seems to have progressed a lot in four years, especially after the London 2012 Olympics.
“We have got the worlds coming up in November. I have got a week off and then I am back in the game. I am thinking of going to Bordeaux to see my grandparents.
“The next couple of years is focused on getting people to the World Championships, European Championships and qualifying (for Rio 2016) that way.”
Mohd Hafifi Mansor took a first gold medal for Malaysia at Glasgow 2014 with a total lift of 305kg and Freebury insisted his performance was made even sweeter having recovered after illness struck late last year.
“It was probably the best performance of my life. It is 12kg over my previous best, especially having come back from having my appendix removed at the end of last year,” he added.
“I am really happy with that performance. I have learned that I need to do a few more clean and jerks in training and get my squat strength up but I can’t really ask for more.”
Commonwealth Games England (CGE) leads and manages the participation of the Team England at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. We work with sports, sponsors and Sport England to support the development of athletes and their sports, and to achieve success at Games-time.