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Best of the British: Morrow edges out European Champion Andries

Team England athlete Fraer Morrow beat reigning European Champion Elena Ramona Andries by just a single kilogram in June to secure Silver for Great Britain in the Women’s 55kg class at the British International Open in Coventry.

After initially being down in the snatch stage Morrow managed to produce a total of 180kg which was enough to edge out the two-time continental Gold medallist for the second spot.

Andries, representing Romania, had to settle for third after moving up a division, while the group was won by Norway’s Sarah Hovden Øvsthus.  Morrow’s Great Britain teammate Amy Williams finished in 4th place.

Reflecting on the event Morrow said: “Well it’s weird because it didn’t feel like an international competition even though there is obviously international lifters here.

“It just felt like the British, but to watch the other international lifters was really good. Then to compete with them was even better.”

The event was Morrow’s first international competition of the year.

In 2018 she finished 4th at the Commonwealth Games for Team England in Australia but was forced to miss the European Championships held in Georgia earlier this year in May due to travelling costs.

Many athletes are required to self-fund their continental competition programmes, so having an IWF Grand Prix event on home soil provided the perfect opportunity for Morrow to shine.

Plus, it seems that missing the Europeans did Morrow no harm as she snatched 78kg on her second attempt and then went three from three on the clean & jerks hitting 97kg, 100kg, and 102kg respectively.

That last lift would prove pivotal to securing silver.  Andries attempted the same weight on her final lift but was unable to haul it above her head.

The result was a pleasant surprise to Morrow as even during the event itself the Loughborough based lifter was not immediately aware that an upset might be on the cards.

“To be fair I didn’t know what was happening at first,” said Morrow.

“People just started missing them and it got the point I didn’t think I needed the 102, but to get it was a PB and a British record so that was a bonus and meant that I got an international silver medal.”

On the day Morrow was coached by former Commonwealth Gold medallist Giles Greenwood.

He kept an eye on the scoreboard which allowed Morrow to focus fully on her lifting and that strategy ultimately paid dividends.

While Morrow walked away happy with the result, she still believes that there is more in the tank for future events which include medal aspirations for the European U23’s.

“I didn’t have the best competition. It was hard” said Morrow.

“The leadup had been perfect, but then I got ill and had to compete like that so that’s a bit of a downer, but the target is a 190 total by the end of the year.

 “Let’s smash it!”