Tiler on strike at nationals

Rebekah Tiler, of Great Britain, competes in the women's 69kg weightlifting competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Rebekah Tiler, of Great Britain, competes in the women's 69kg weightlifting competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Todmorden weightlifter Rebekah Tiler has sat out this weekend’s British Championships at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry in a funding protest.

The 18-year-old, who holds all three British records in the 69kg class, was due to compete today.

Tiler has become a victim of UK Sport cutting all funding for British Weightlifting as it did not believe there was a ‘credible’ medal chance for Tokyo 2020.

Tiler, who finished fourth in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and was the UK’s only woman weightlifter at the 2016 Olympics, announced her decision not to compete in Coventry via Twitter.

Her message said: “Sorry guys won’t be at the British this year on strike till some funding is found. British Weightlifting, thanks for messing my life up.”

British Weightlifting said it no longer had the funds to support an elite squad of female lifters training for Tokyo.

The funding it received had to be used for the development of the sport and at grass roots level.

Tiler’s mother Emma recently revealed the problems her daughter had to contend with in her battle to get to the top.

She said she would no longer stand by and let her child “be mistreated and given false hopes.”

She claimed Rebekah had sacrificed her childhood to become the most successful British weightlifter ever.

Rebekah trains at Loughborough through the week but Emma says support staff have left and there is no physiotherapist, meaning her daughter’s knees are continually painful and ache.

The accommodation she had been allocated in the Midlands was a health risk and they were worried about her safety because she was not allowed to have a lock on her door.

Emma said no one would want their child to live in such a place and that the national body should do more to support their elite athletes.