Alderman robbed of Commonwealth spot

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Powerlifter Adam Alderman has spoken of his heartbreak on missing out on a spot at the 
Commonwealth Games after being declassified.

The Sudbury-based dwarf, who is a reigning British champion, has had his Glasgow 2014 dream shattered and his international career left hanging on an appeal after a sudden change in the way the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) measure legitimate lifts.

The new methods con-cerning arms locking out caused a bombshell after athletes only found out when turning up in Dubai to compete at the World IPC Championships in April.

It resulted in the goalposts being moved so achondroplasia dwarfs like Alderman found they could not physically get within the maximum 20 degree angle of elbow extension allowed, when under the previous way of measuring it they had been able to.

“It is really upsetting for me and Zoe,” Alderman said of his fellow Suffolk powerlifter and London 2012 bronze medallist Zoe Newson, who has also been prevented from competing in international events.

“Nine out of 10 dwarves cannot lift — it is a nightmare.

“When you have your arms locked out you are not allowed more than a 20 degree angle and mine has always been well in.

“But now they have moved your arm into a silly position and mine is now out.”

The 31-year-old, who recently moved from Sible Hedingham to Sudbury — where he works at Siemens — competes in the under-49kg category and had been lifting 140kg in competitions this season, one kilogram below his personal best, to put him well within the qualifying mark to clinch a spot in last Friday’s Commonwealth Games team announcement.

But he is still training in Sudbury at Zest Health and Fitness Centre.

“I have not given up and I will just keep training and hope something gets sorted out,” he said.

British Weightlifting’s performance director Tommy Yule said they were waiting to hear back from the IPC after launching an appeal.

“In this situation it is 
very unclear to us why 
they have changed how they measure this angle,” he said. “The fact no-one knew 
prior to the World Championships they were changing it came as a big shock, not 
just to the athletes, but to us 
at British Weightlifting as well.”

The IPC was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.