Todmorden weightlifting ace Rebekah Tiler has revealed that she asked not to be selected for Team England at the Commonwealth Games.
A squad of 18 weightlifters to compete on Australia’s Gold Coast from April 5 to 10 has been announced and potential medal winner Tiler was a big-name omission.
Tiler, the UK’s only woman weightlifter at the 2016 Olympics, has an ongoing dispute over funding and says her form is suffering as a result.
She said: “I have decided to take a break from competition due to the way they (British Weightlifting) have been treating me. There is no support.
“I told them I was not going to the Games a couple of months ago.
“I think I would have got a medal. It is just hard to train and compete when you need to get a job and earn a living.”
The four-time European champion, who recently turned 19, missed the British Championships last summer after UK Sport cut all weightlifting funding, an estimated £1.7m. It decided the sport was not a “credible” medal chance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Tiler tweeted at the time that she was “on strike” and said British Weightlifting was messing up her life.
Tiler travels by train to Loughborough University for training from Monday to Friday and comes home to the Calder Valley at weekends.
Her mother Emma has voiced concerns about security at the student accommodation in which her daughter stays during the week and Rebekah has been critical of the lack of a physiotherapist to treat strains and a nutrionalist.
“We have a gym and one coach but all the support is gone,” said Rebekah, who holds all three British records in the 69kg class and finished fourth at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in spite of her tender years.
“I am looking for work, anything. Ideally I would like to work at a gym but I need some sponsorship to carry on competing.
“I am still training but I am finding it hard because I am focusing on money.”
Tiler said the weights she was lifting in training were well down on her best as a result but the world championships at Turkmenistan in November and the Tokyo Olympics were still targets.