Solfrid Koanda, right, and her coach Zygmunt Smalcerz, celebrate after winning gold ©EWF

Emily Campbell underlined her position as the most-successful British weightlifter for decades when she won a second straight continental title at the European Championships in Tirana, Albania.

The super-heavyweight finished well clear of her rivals today to become the first British woman to win European gold in successive years.

Earlier, Solfrid Koanda also made her mark by becoming the first weightlifter from Norway ever to win a European title.

Campbell did not start in either snatch or clean and jerk until everybody else had finished and made all six attempts to end with 118-153-271, which was 12kg below her career-best on the global stage but far too good for the best of the rest in Europe.

Melike Gunal of Turkey was 29kg back in second place while third-placed Sarah Fischer of Austria - whose brother David had won gold for Bulgaria earlier in the week - totalled 230kg.

Campbell, 28, who will be favourite to win another gold for England at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer, has now won two European titles, Olympic silver and an International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships bronze within 14 months.

Matthew Curtain, the incoming chief executive/general secretary of British Weight Lifting, congratulated Campbell and spoke of the Federation’s pride in her efforts.

"What an outstanding effort from Olympic medallist Emily Campbell to win consecutive European titles," said Curtain, who starts his new role on June 23.

"She continues to inspire the next generation of lifters in Great Britain and around the world as a role model for elite performance."

Emily Campbell became the first British woman to win European gold in successive years ©Getty Images
Emily Campbell became the first British woman to win European gold in successive years ©Getty Images

Koanda, 23, won the 87kg category with a career-best 109-143-252.

She finished 15kg clear of the Ukrainian Anastasiia Manievska on 237kg, with the Georgian Anastasiia Hotfrid third on 235kg.

Stian Grimseth, President of the Norwegian Weightlifting Federation, spoke glowingly of both Koanda and Norway’s national head coach Zygmunt Smalcerz.

Smalcerz, 80, who won Olympic gold for Poland in 1972, has helped to bring about improvement since taking up his post in April 2020 and that in turn has led to more support from the National Olympic Committee.

Grimseth said Koanda’s landmark performance was "a massive inspiration for Norwegian weightlifting".

He said: "We have been working hard the last two and a half years, and to have a star like Solfrid makes it easier to continue our hard work.

"Solfrids' result last year (third at the IWF World Championships) made it possible with more support from our Olympic Committee, and the best is that Solfrid is not alone.

"We have a team where five females took 11 medals last year, compared with five in the entire period of 2010 to 2020.

"Ine Andersson (59kg) took a great gold in clean and jerk and bronze in total, so we have five medals so far this year.

"These great results give us more attention in the media, great for our lifters, federation and the coming World Championships in 2025 in Førde.

"As a President and sports director I am grateful that we have Zygmunt Smalcerz as our national head coach - I really admire the knowledge and energy in this guy."