Zoe Smith won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow ©Getty Images

England will be taking 18 weightlifting and Para-powerlifting athletes to the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Half of the athletes picked have previous Commonwealth Games experience with five medals between them.

Zoe Smith, a four-time British record holder, who will be competing in her third Commonwealth Games.

Smith became the first-ever English woman to win a weightlifting medal when she claimed bronze in the 58 kilogram category at Dehli 2010 before following it up with a gold in the same event at the Glasgow 2014 Games.

Smith said: “I am so excited to be attending my third Commonwealth Games, with a team of great people.

“After a tough two years missing out on the 2016 Rio Olympics through injury, I am determined to come back stronger and hopefully retain my title as Commonwealth champion.”

Ali Jawad, a silver medallist at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in the up to 59kg event, is the biggest name on the Para-powerlifting team.

Likewise, Jawad said he was pleased to be named in the squad after a difficult year.

"After a tough 2017 battling Crohn's Disease, I am delighted that I get to compete on the world stage again,” he said.

“I have some special memories representing England and I cannot wait to do it all over again."

Ali Jawad will be hoping to win his first Commonwealth Games gold medal in Gold Coast ©Getty Images
Ali Jawad will be hoping to win his first Commonwealth Games gold medal in Gold Coast ©Getty Images

The Chef de Mission for Commonwealth Games England, Sarah Winckless, congratulated the 18 athletes on their selection.

“I’m really excited to welcome our weightlifting and Para-powerlifting athletes to the team,” she said.

“We have a good mix within the group of 18 with defending Commonwealth Games champions and first timers being selected alongside each other.

“I’m looking forward to seeing them learn and grow from each other in the Games environment on the Gold Coast next April.”

Alongside Smith, the weightlifting squad for Gold Coast comprises of 2015 British Under 23 champion Laura Hewitt, Glasgow 2014 bronze medallist Ben Watson, Emily Godley, Emily Campbell, Jack Oliver, Alex Collier, Owen Boxall, Edmon Avetisyan, Sarah Davies and Kelly-Jo Robson.

Jawad is joined in the Para-powerlifting team by Nathaniel Wilding and Oliver Brown, who won a gold and bronze medal respectively at the 2017 Para Powerlifting World Cup in Hungary, Zoe Newson, Natalie Blake and Louise Sugden.

England will hold a 10-day preparation camp for the Games in Brisbane whilst they are also creating a performance centre inside the Commonwealth Games Village.

The Commonwealth Games take place in Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4 to 15.