Home Articles HIGHLIGHTS & RECAP: Junior and U23 Nationals Day 2

HIGHLIGHTS & RECAP: Junior and U23 Nationals Day 2

by theweightliftingplatform

Day 2 started off with a very competitive 81kg session as Jackson Howie (SA) and James Norman (Qld) went toe to toe. The pair were in a bidding war in the back room, increasing their original start weights until eventually James went out first. He opened at 110kg (5kg heavier than his original opener) and made it look easy. Both lifters went 3/3 for their snatches but Jackson edged James out with a 123kg to 118kg. So Jackson still led after the snatches by a good 5kg. And he maintained that lead, finishing strong to close out the competition and win gold with his first clean & jerk. This was despite a tough jury call that overturned his final attempt at 155kg, which would have been a PR.

The next women’s session had some seriously big hitters. If you looked at the scoreboard before this session, you would’ve thought you were looking at a typo. Eileen Cikamatana (87kg) and Charisma Amoe-Tarrant (+87kg) had their opening snatches listed at 114kg and 110kg respectively. Most of the men in the heavyweight divisions weren’t opening with anything close to that weight.

Eileen was the star of the day and she drew a large crowd (everyone wanted to see whether the listed opening weights were for real!). After she slotted the first snatch like the bar had training weights on, Eileen eyed up a 120kg snatch only to miss it behind as she was standing up with it. Still, she went up, looking for a 122kg snatch on her third attempt. She obviously only had eyes for one thing, and that was the world Junior record. 

Lyn Jones, in his unmistakable Walsh accent, announced “her last attempt broke seven records, and this attempt will also break the Junior world snatch record, so that would make it eight.”  The crowd erupted as Eileen walked out onto the platform for her third attempt. Unfortunately, she narrowly missed it. But she came tantalisingly close and looked to have more in the tank.

Eileen went 145-151-155 in the clean & jerk, going 3/3 to break the Junior world clean & jerk record along with the total Junior world record. Everyone was in awe (check out the video on our Instagram). Lyn announced “Eileen just broke 37 records in total and we still haven’t finished counting.” 

Eileen’s jaw-dropping performance overshadowed some incredibly close competitions within the same session from other weight categories. 

In the 71kg category Ruby Carwardine (SA) had a stellar day, beating out four other women in what was probably the closest competition of the weekend. From first to third, there were only 3kg separating them. There were only 3kg separating the five girls after the snatch and everyone knew it was going to come down to whoever could make their clean & jerks. 

Ruby showed true composure and grit to win by 1kg overall after only going 1/3 in the snatch, and sitting in third place going into the clean & jerk.

The final session of the day did not disappoint. It was the biggest session of the weekend and packed full of excitement. In the 96s Brandon Fender (Qld) edged out Artem Li after being behind by 5kg in the snatch with a monster 155kg clean & jerk and a great 6/6 day.

In the supers, Nahir Malki (Vic) and Orion Walsh (NSW) were going back and forth in the warm-up room. Nahir went for a big PR in the snatch but narrowly missed the 144kg attempt. This would have put him only 1kg behind Orion, but due to the miss Orion had a big 6kg lead going into the second portion of the competition. It would be a tough ask for Nahir to catch him. 

Nahir needed 182kg to win so that’s what he went for. It would be an 11kg PR. He pulled it, got under it, the crowd willed him to stand but it wasn’t to be. Orion walked away with gold in the Junior and Under 23 age groups.

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