Paralympic power-lifter Zoe Newson focuses on Tokyo 2020 just a year after 'surprise' baby

Newson on her way to bronze at London 2012 (PA Images)
Newson on her way to bronze at London 2012 (PA Images)
10:09am, Wed 19 Feb 2020
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Zoe Newson has set her sights on another Paralympic power-lifting medal just a year after having a baby.

The 27 year-old, who already boasts two Paralympic bronze medals, gave birth to Duncan six weeks early because he had grown too big for her body.

Newson, who has dwarfism, says she and 6ft 2 partner Dan, discovered during a scan that their child would be a "normal size" and this caused her concerns over her power-lifting future.

She was told that if the pregnancy had been permitted to go full term Duncan would have been 10lbs, so instead he was delivered early at 6lbs.

She admitted it was something of a surprise when she discovered she was expecting.

"Duncan wasn't planned," she told BBC Sport, "it was a shock when I found out I was pregnant."

"I thought it was my career over, but luckily I've got back into it." 

Newson returned to competition less than six months after giving birth, pointing out it was possible because she didn't experience extreme weight gain during pregnancy.

"Despite how big he was, I didn't really put that much weight on, so it was easy to lose that bit of weight," she said, but added there were some complications.

"When he was born, there was something wrong with his stomach," she said, "and then it was his oxygen levels, so it was mostly six weeks being a prisoner in hospital."

Zoe now trains at home which allows her to juggle being a mother with her Paralympic preparations.

"At the start, people thought I would struggle a bit. Even I did," she said. "But if I can't do something, I just find a different way. Nothing stops me from being a mum."

She now has her sights set on another Paralympic medal in Tokyo and will start her bid for qualification at the Para-powerlifting World Cup in Manchester, starting on Thursday.

Tokyo would be her third Paralympics and she hopes to prove herself in the -41kg category, saying: "Tokyo is about proving I've got what it takes after getting back into it.

"As long as I try my best, I'll be happy. It will mean a lot. I want to prove to people you can have a baby and still carry on with sport."

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