Going for Gold: Weightlifter Emily Campbell looks ahead to Tokyo 2020

Emily Campbell's rise has been nothing short of meteoric.

In just five years the weightlifter from Bulwell in Nottinghamshire has gone from an absolute novice to competing on the biggest stage in her sport. Her natural talent is there for all to see, but she's also got that little bit of something else which makes it easy to see why success gravitates towards her.

Credit: Issac J Morillas

When I first spoke to Emily it was off the back of her incredible Gold medal in the European Championships- that put her in pole position to be selected for Team GB in Tokyo.

Last year's postponement may have hurt some athletes hard and perhaps made competing for a medal that bit more difficult, but there's no doubt that the extra year has helped her get stronger and enabled her to make the cut.

She's not just content with being an athlete though, being a role model is just as important.

The first story I did with her earlier this year was about her campaign to get gym clothing brands to consider larger sizes for athletes like her or people who have to start their fitness journey from a place different to others.

It was a story that led to Midlands brand Gymshark releasing a statement admitting they could do better and that they intended to change. It was a huge win for the soon-to-be Olympian months before she had even set foot in Tokyo.

This gives you some insight into how determined Emily is. In just five years she's gone from being an athlete throwing a hammer around to one who lifts weights on the world stage.

Her progress has been impressive and yet she stays humble. Emily talks about her home town of Bulwell with great fondness and told me how much she appreciates their support. Her family are right behind her and she credits them with giving her confidence to be at her best. 

As a Journalist, one of the most interesting parts of the job is meeting new people, getting a feel for them and what makes them tick. When I met Emily during a training session, there were no airs and graces. The gym where she trains is what you would consider a traditional weightlifters gym. It's loud, dark but it's home to her and the friendliness of the people there really reflect how Emily is. When training no corners are cut and a couple of months ago excitement was already building for her ahead of the Games. 

Emily training back in May

In terms of her chances, as with any Olympic event, there is so much that could go wrong or right on the day.

Medals are won and lost by margins and only Emily will truly know how much she can lift on the day and push herself.

The win at the European Championships gave her momentum but she's one of those athletes that has largely dipped under the radar when considering medal prospects. However, I would not be surprised at all to see her make the podium.

Her event will be watched by her family and friends back home in the garden and I'm hoping that ITV Central can be there to see the look on their faces when Emily steps up.

Credit: Issac J Morillas

Win or lose, I've a feeling it won't change the person who Emily is. As her coach Cyril Martin told me, whilst training, 'Sometimes we have to tell her she talks too much!'. 

Well you can only imagine how much Emily will have to say if she wins Gold!