Well, it’s that time of year again. The AWF has released the start-list for Senior Nationals and we here at The Weightlifting Platform are pumped. Ah yes, we can just smell the chalk already!
Here’s the state-by-state breakdown of lifters:
New South Wales: 29
South Australia: 8
Western Australia: 10
As always, there is a fantastic showing from the Queenslanders. Following closely behind is Victoria with a very respectable 47 lifters heading to Canberra.
Breaking the numbers down even further we can see how many lifters each state has in the top three for each weight category:
Qld has 16 (10 female, 6 male)
Vic has 13 (6 female, 7 male)
NSW 8 (1 female, 7 male)
Each state is allowed to nominate 10 male and 10 female athletes, with no more than two athletes in one weight category, with two reserves for each male and female for their team.
So with 10 of Queensland’s allocated 10 womenwithin the top three (we are assuming these will be the 10 on their team) , it’s going to be hard to knock them off the top barring a real catastrophe.
The men, on the other hand, will be hotly contested between Victoria, Queensland and NSW.
Sessions to watch
As always, the male 89kg session will be entertaining. Boris Elesin sits in the top spot but then only 12kg separates 2nd through 4th. So you can never be sure which way it’s going to go. Matthew Pit, Sean Fitzgerald and Joel Gregson have all been to multiple Nationals but this year An-ti Hsu has joined the mix as well. An-ti is originally from New Zealand and has represented NZ on the international platform. Theoretically, all these athletes are capable of winning. So this contest will come down to who can actually make their lifts when it counts.
The female 71kg session will be on straight after the men’s 89kg. We highly recommend sticking around for this one. There is only 1kg separating 2nd through 5th! Not to mention the fact this category includes some incredibly entertaining lifters. Caity Haniver (Vic) sits in second right now with Darcy Kay (Qld), Courtney Haley (Qld) and Nicky Cummins (Vic) all 1kg below her on entry totals.
Caity looks to be in fine form right now after going 6/6 with a 189kg total, albeit at a slightly heavier bodyweight than she is now. She also broke the F76kg Victorian clean & jerk record. The 189kg figure would put her in first place on the entry total list as a 71kg lifter so it will be interesting to see if Caity decides to cut back down and stay in that weight category.
Eileen Cikamatana has dotted all the Is and crossed all the Ts and can now officially compete and break records for Australia. We definitely expect that to happen. A 19-year-old Fijian-born weightlifter, Eileen unofficially broke the clean & jerk Junior world record at Junior Nationals last month, narrowly missing the snatch world record in the process. This will be a great opportunity for Eileen to stake her claim in Australia as a citizen, and to help put Australia back on the weightlifting map. Eileen will be competing at 3.30pm on Sunday the 20th.
Lastly, we highly recommend watching Erika Yamasaki go head to head with Seen Lee again! With Erika back on the rise and pushing for that elusive Olympic spot can Seen, now 37 years old, pull off another National win, or will Erika edge her out?
Other names you may know (and when they’ll be competing):
Joshua Wu — 10.30am, Saturday the 19th
A young star on the rise in NSW. Had a great showing at Junior Nationals. Can he build on that at Senior Nationals?
Maddison Power — 1pm, Saturday the 19th
The young superstar on the rise, sitting in 4th place on entry totals. Can this young Queenslander step onto the Senior podium for the first time this year?
Brandon Wakeling — 3.30pm, Saturday the 19th
The Olympic hopeful that has all but locked up his spot in the games.
Sarah Cochrane — 4pm, Saturday the 19th
A rising Australian superstar who is heading to Worlds for the first time this year. Definitely someone to get around and watch.
Boris Elesin — 8.30am, Sunday the 20th
2018 Commonwealth Games athlete
Ridge Barredo — 1pm, Sunday the 20th
2018 Commonwealth Games athlete
Zac Grgurevic — 1pm, Sunday the 20th
Everyone knows Zac.
Ebony Gorincu — 3.30pm, Sunday the 20th
Coming off a bomb at the Pacific Games this year Ebony will be out to make some solid lifts and put that in the past.