‘Now I want to go sightseeing... go hold a koala bear!’ – says Ipswich-born Zoe Newson after bronze glory in Commonwealth Games

Ipswich-born Zoe Newson with her bronze medal during the ceremony for the womens Lightweight competi

Ipswich-born Zoe Newson with her bronze medal during the ceremony for the womens Lightweight competition during the Para Powerlifting on day six of the XXI Commonwealth Games at Carrara Sports Arena on the Gold Coast, Australia. Photo: DARREN ENGLAND - Credit: AAP/PA Images

East Bergholt’s Zoe Newson has won bronze in the women’s lightweight final at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

In securing Commonwealth bronze, Newson completed the full set of para-powerlifting medals, writes Charlie Talbot-Smith

But there is still one thing left on her to-do list in Australia: get her picture taken with a koala bear!

The 26-year-old had a highest lift of 91kg in the Carrara Indoor Sports Centre on the Gold Coast, good enough for a total of 106.1 points.

That put her third behind the Nigerian duo of Lucy Ejike and Esther Oyema and when the medal was round her neck, Newson could finally celebrate the full collection.

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Twice a Paralympic bronze medallist, the Ipswich-born power-lifter now also has medals at world, European and Commonwealth level.

“It was a really good feeling to be up on the podium getting my medal,” she said.

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“This was the only one I didn’t have, so to have the full collection is amazing and I am very happy now.

“I will now have to put them all up together!

“But for now, I just want to go sightseeing – my main aim is to hold a koala bear – that is all i have left to do!”

It has been a long wait for a Commonwealth medal to complete her set after finishing fourth in Delhi back in 2010.

Before Glasgow 2014, a reclassification meant she could not compete and now on the Gold Coast a re-think saw her return for Team England and she did not let her opportunity go to waste.

But she was quick to praise her coach Arun Singh and the rest of the backroom team after her success.

“I just got told what to do by my coaches – I just turn up and lift! I leave everything up to them,” she added.

“Otherwise I think I worry too much and concentrate on how much is on the bar and things like that.

This way round, I just turn up and focus on what I have to do.

“Me and Arun (Singh) get on so well, he has always helped me – we have a special bond and we were both really happy.

“I have to listen to what they say really, otherwise I will get into trouble!”

So what does the future hold for Newson now that she has the full medal set in her draw?

“I was quite emotional when I found out (about de-classification before Glasgow). But when they reclassified it I thought i would try and get back into it.

“After this one, I am going to celebrate this and then we will see what happens in the future – I can’t say right now.”

npower is the Official Partner of Team England and is giving our athletes the power of support by recording a brand new version of their anthem, Jerusalem. To listen to the track visit npower.com/teamengland

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