Leora Yates — athlete, mum and a two-time Masters World Champion.
Leora started competing in 2017 after discovering weightlifting through CrossFit. Finding that she excelled with the barbell, Leora moved over to the strength program at her gym, CrossFit Moorabbin.
She has just returned home from her second Masters World Championships in Montreal, Canada, carrying in her luggage a shiny gold medal — Leora’s second in as many years. Indeed, Leora has dominated the past two years at the champs, comfortably leading the rest of her competitors by over 10kg.
“This year I wanted to break some records but that didn’t happen,” Leora told The Weightlifting Platform. So she plans to head back to Worlds in Germany next year, to make it a three-peat and to hit those records.
Leora suffered from a dislocated shoulder early on in 2019. It was a long fight back. She had to work like mad just to even get on the plane to Montreal.
“After Darwin [the Australian Masters Champs] and also in the build-up to the Gold Coast [Commonwealth & Oceania Masters Champs] I had some severe shoulder pain on my left side and struggled through the lifts in the Gold Coast. Afterwards I had an MRI and found out I had a slight dislocation,” Leora said.
“I didn’t do any shoulder work up until about a week … days before I left. I was cutting it pretty fine.”
Leora holds all the Australian National records for the 81kg 40-44 age category with an enormous 82kg snatch and 95kg clean & jerk giving her a 175kg total.
The “Masters” title doesn’t seem to mean much to Leora as she sits fourth overall in Australia — not for Masters, but Seniors (open grade). With Sofia Zadova’s announcement of retirement earlier this year, it has opened up Leora’s division for Senior Nationals, which is coming up in seven weeks.
With the young Cassie Todd from Queensland (who edged Leora out at the 2018 Nationals to take silver) and Stefanie Fernandez Preiksa from New South Wales, both chasing Yates, she will have her work cut out for her at Nationals.
We look forward to seeing Leora back out on the platform to try bring home another medal for Victoria.