New South Wales may not have the depth of numbers that Victoria and Queensland have, but what they lack in numbers they more than make up for in talent. There are a few sessions this year that are really exciting for the NSW team.
With some dark-horse lifters in the 67s and a veteran in the 73s, we’re in for a big show during session two. Alexander Lim (67kg) is a new lifter who has a phenomenal level of potential. His technique is still raw but improving daily. Considering his strength surplus, he will only get better with time.
The 73kg category is interesting for a different reason. With Brandon Wakeling set to move up to the 81kg class (or perhaps not compete at all)the gold is once again up for grabs. NSW has two lifters with the potential to take that gold: Joshua Wu, a lifter who has had a career longer than almost anyone on the team; and Yannick Mifsud who doubles as a coach on the NSW staff.
Watching Joshua compete over the last few months, especially after a devastating performance at the Arafura Games, has been amazing. He is looking consistent and ready to make good things happen. Yannick is a very exciting lifter to watch, particularly in the snatch. Either could take the snatch but with James Delaney (Vic) in the mix, it will come down to the clean & jerk.
The next session that will be super exciting for the NSW team is the 96kg and 102kg boys. We have Ridge Barredo — our 102kg Commonwealth Games representative, now down under 96kg — and Sam Kennedy. Ridge is always a powerhouse and this change in bodyweight looks like a good fit. Sam has had a year off after the Commonwealth Games trials and is looking very strong in the lead-up to this competition.
The 102kg category will be an exciting battle between Luke Fulham and the rest of the boys. Luke was another lifter that had a disappointing Arafura Games, however he’s back with a vengeance after moving up to the 102kg class. He recently went 6/6 at state champs, hitting all-time snatch and total PBs, so it will be exciting to see what he does.
Sanaa Hawkins is a new face and the oldest lifter on the team. It would be great to see her hit a 100kg clean & jerk onthe platform.She is in the running for a medal but will have to battle it out with another newface inStefanie Fernandez Preiksa, a former rower and cyclist, who sits just above Saana.
Moving into the big boys NSW has three superstar lifters all spanning different age categories. Orion Walsh is a junior phenomenon. Orion is one of the most consistent lifters on the team and a kid that just keeps on getting better.
Jackson Roberts-Young (Under 23s) is such an exciting lifter to watch. At last year’s Nationals, he went for a 196kg clean & jerk but just missed it. Will we see 200kg this year?
The last big boy is ex-Commonwealth Games athlete Haroon Shoukat. A veteran in the sport and former national lifter for Pakistan, Haroon looks like he’s ramped up and ready for some huge numbers.
Eileen Cikamatana is the final lifter and probably one of Australia’s most exciting new talents. We’ve never seen a female lifter with more impressive force production. Moving heavy weights like they are child’s play she will not only be a standout on the national stage but a threat to the international weightlifting community as well. Watch her session to see some ridiculous feats of strength and potentially some broken international records.
NSW has a real shot at the men’s team shield if they play their cards right.
The 2019 Australian Senior Championships will be held at the Australian Institute of Sport in
Canberra, and the event will be live-streamed at https://www.awf.com.au/webcast.
Lizzy PUGH (55kg)
Keely BARAKAT (64kg)
Verity PARK (64kg)
Jessica HETA (64kg)
Sabah CHAMOUN (71kg)
Katrina GINI (71kg)
Sanaa HAWKINS (76kg)
Stefanie FERNANDEZ PREIKSA (76kg)
Eileen CIKAMATANA (87kg)
Dimitra TSILIASKOPOULOS (87kg+)
Gordan FU (67kg)
Alexander LIM (67kg)
Joshua WU (73kg)
Yannick MIFSUD (73kg)
Nicholas PREDOWSKI (73kg)
Leo MANNY (81kg)
Samuel KENNEDY (96kg)
Ridge BARREDO (96kg)
Jack BREARLY (102kg)
Luke FULHAM (102kg)
Jackson ROBERTS-YOUNG (109kg)
Haroon SHUKAT (109kg+)
Orion WALSH (109kg+)