European & Commonwealth Champion Emily Muskett Retires
Great Britain & England International Emily Muskett has today announced her decision to retire following the 2020 Olympic Games.
Emily produced a sensational display in Tokyo to top the Women’s 76kg category B group and secure a superb seventh place finish overall, a remarkable achievement given the limited time to prepare after only learning of qualification weeks before the event was due to get underway.
The result caps off a sensational career that has seen Emily win gold at the European Championships, Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Championships, Arafura Games, Australian Open and clinch clean & jerk bronze at the World Championships in recent years.
We would like to wish Emily all the best for the future and thank her for all her years of service to the sport.
Emily on the platform at the 2019 European Weightlifting Championships
Speaking about the announcement via Instagram Emily said: “Today is the day I officially retire from competitive Weightlifting! It makes me so happy to say I fulfilled my childhood dream of competing at an Olympic Games and I also experienced plenty of extra success along the way - memories of which I will treasure for the rest of my life.
“My journey hasn’t been without it’s battles, and the hardest of all in the last 18 months makes this announcement even more of a relief. There is a very fine line between accepting your mental health isn’t in the right place to compete in sport, and trying to push through because you know it’ll be worth the reward. So for me, retiring now after such a fulfilling career is definitely my happy ending. I will also continue to work with my sports psychologist and make sure I close this chapter properly.”
Earlier this year, she became Great Britain’s first European Champion in 26 years, taking silver in the women’s 71kg Snatch discipline before winning gold in the clean & jerk and overall competition at the 2021 European Championships in Moscow, Russia.
With no women’s 71kg event or 81kg events at the Olympic Games, Emily had to fight her way into one of the most hotly contested categories in Tokyo as part of a qualification battle royale that went down to the wire.
Emily placed ninth in the Tokyo rankings following the conclusion the athlete reallocation process and doping disqualifications. She qualified via a continental slot after receiving a late invitation to lift from the International Weightlifting Federation.
However, that didn’t stop Emily from being successful in the event itself as she produced good lifts in all three of her Snatch attempts hitting 92kg, 95 and 98kg.
In the Clean & Jerk she managed to land 117kg on her first attempt. She missed 123kg but landed 124kg on her final attempt to finish with a strong total of 222kg.
Tokyo wasn’t Emily’s only Olympic experience as she also worked on the local organising committee at London 2012 helping to run the Olympic Weightlifting and Paralympic Powerlifting events hosted there.
Emily early in in her career at the 2010 Commonwealth Games
Emily also represented England in three Commonwealth Games, competing under her maiden name Godley.
She made her debut at Delhi, competing alongside her future husband Joe Muskett. Emily failed to finish, but bounced back in style at Glasgow taking fifth place before reaching the pinnacle at the Gold Coast in 2018 by winning Gold outright.
After securing the Commonwealth crown Emily would then go on to have one of her most successful seasons the following year in 2019.
She helped Great Britain return to the upper echelons of the weightlifting world by clinching the nation’s first World Championship medal in over 25 years by securing bronze in the Women’s 71kg Clean and Jerk in Pattaya.
Emily also enjoyed success across the globe in a year that saw her take Commonwealth Championships Gold in Samoa, win an Arafura Games title in Australia, secure silver medals at the European Championships in Georgia and medal at the Tianjin World Cup in China.
Along the way, Emily also smashed the British standards three times to round off a truly remarkable year.
That international success was a culmination of a decade’s worth of hard work. Emily originally got involved in the sport after switching from pole vaulting. She was coached at Crystal Palace by Keith Morgan and later at Europa WLC working alongside Commonwealth Champion Andrew Callard.
Emily competing at the 2016 British Championships
Domestically, Emily won her first British title in 2009 and added a second in 2017. She is also a seven-time English Champion having won her category every year between 2011-2016 and most recently in the 2021 virtual event ran online.
Emily will go down in history as one of the best British Weightlifters, helping to re-establish Great Britain as a competitive force in international weightlifting after so many years in the wilderness.
She has been an incredible role model and her success will act as a springboard and inspiration for the current and next generation of athletes. Emily has been on an incredible journey with the sport and we would like to thank her for all the memories.