Day two promised to start off with a great show. Historically the 89kg class has been the most competitive men’s group in Australia and this was no exception.
An-Ti Hsu who went into the competition ranked second on the start list was unable to make a Snatch at 125kg on all three attempts. With An-ti booming out this opened the door for other competitors.
Matthew Pit (Pitty) was also ranked highly coming in but due to a few injuries leading into Nationals he wasn’t able to put up the numbers he would have liked.
Ranked third on the start list, Sean Fitzgerald from Tasmania hit a 125kg Snatch, missing 129kg in his second and third attempts. He made a 163kg Clean & Jerk to give him 4th overall.
Queensland lifter Liam Saxby finished third in the Snatch with a solid 3/3 performance, hitting a 152kg C&J to finish 5th overall.
Joel Gregson from Western Australia made 3/6 with a 288kg total to take the bronze medal.
The highlight from the M89 session were the performances of Victoria’s Boris Elesin and Troy Hewkins.
Troy opened with a 127kg Snatch, hit 132kg on the second and fought to hold 135kg on his third for a successful lift. He made a 160kg Clean & Jerk securing him the silver medal. Troy has been on the weightlifting scene for years now and it was great to see him back out on the platform competing at his best.
Boris opened with a strong 135kg Snatch and 140kg on his second. He attempted to break his own national record on the third at 143kg but was unsuccessful. He finished with a 165kg Clean & Jerk to give him the gold.
A full F71 session on Day 2 of the Australian National Weightlifting Championships with a 16 strong line up. This category promised to be exciting with the top ranked lifters on the start list having such close entry totals.
The Battle was between, Nicky Cummins (Vic), Courtney Haley (QLD), Tessa Milton (QLD), Darcy Kay (QLD), Caity Haniver (VIC), Sabah Chamoun (NSW) and Ebony Gorincu (QLD). Everyone had their eyes on different lifters and you could hear different parts of the crowd cheering on their favourite.
After the snatches Nicky, Courtney and Darcy fell off the pace a bit and the battle started to heat up between Caity, Sabah and Tessa. Ebony looking like she was going to run away with the competition at this stage.
Unfortunately Tessa could keep up in the Clean & jerk but with Caity missing her first attempt this opened the door right up for Sabah. After Caity’s third attempt, hitting 105kg she was in second place but the young Sabah came out on her second and crushed a 109kg lift to lock up that second spot.
Ebony Gorincu from QLD has recently returned from the San Diego open where she totalled 199kg. Going in as the top ranked lifter for today, Ebony opened with a missed 87kg Snatch before recovering it on her second attempt. She hit a solid 90kg on her third attempt which is 1kg lighter than the current National record she holds. Ebony finished with a 111kg Clean & Jerk and a 201kg total for the gold.
Within the 96kg session Commonwealth Games athlete Ridge Barredo was impressive all round. He broke his own M96 records in the Snatch, Clean & Jerk and Total with 145, 183, 328kg. When asked in a post competition interview why he did not take his final attempt in the Clean & jerk he replied “I got 328[kg] in 5 lifts, that’s all I needed. A boy’s getting paid, let’s leave it there and make more money when I can.”
This brings up an interesting questions about how our top lifters get paid and their incentives to actually push their limits.
A great performance for the NSW team.
In the same session we had the 102s
Russell Ludt didn’t quite have the day he was after in the snatch only making his opener which you could see the opposition in Luke Fulham take full advantage of. Russell was able to pull back his consistency in the Clean & jerk but by this time Luke had too big of a lead to chase down.
Cody Wilks stole the show finishing a massive 10kg above his closest competitor with a 307kg total and a gold medal around his neck.
There were 4 smaller weight categories in session 9. The 76s, 81s, 87s, +87s.
Everyone in the crowd came to watch one person which sadly overshadowed a lot of the other competitions, but that person was the new Australian citizen, Eileen Cakamana. The incredibly powerful Fijian born 87 that is about to take the world by storm.
Cakamana didn’t quite have the day she wanted snatching 110kg and Clean & jerking 140kg goin 4/6. Due to the massive calendar ahead of her you could tell she wasn’t peaked for the weekend.
The battle in the 71s was tight with the top four girls all finishing 1kg apart from each other. Adrienne Karniewicz took the gold with 172kg and closely behind Sanaa Hawkins, Christine Reid and Teagan Newman.
Tara Pritt from WA had a dominant performance totalling 191kg to be named National champ in the 81kg division.
The big battle in the 109s was between Matthew Lydement and Jackson Robert-Young was brewing, both with entry totals of 333.
Matthew very quickly pulled away in the snatch with 158kg to give himself a 12kg buffer heading into the clean & jerk.
After Matthew didn’t have the day he had wanted on the clean & jerk only making his opener. This opened the gate for Jackson to jump from 180kg to 190kg from first to second attempt to clinch the gold.
In the 109s category it was anyone’s game at the start of the day.
The battle quickly turned to Haroon Shukat and Orion Walsh, both putting on a show in the snatch.
The young Orion looked incredibly strong with a 146kg snatch on his second attempt which broke the Junior Australian Record and then came back out to break the Under 23 Australian record with 150kg.
Both Haroon and Orion finished their snatch with 3/3 and 150kg with Jax close behind with a 147kg snatch and the fight for that Gold had started.
Jac, the defending national champ came out swinging in the clean & jerk nearly making up the difference from the snatch but missed his final clean & jerk which gave him second place overall.
Orion had the day of his life making a clutch 177kg clean & jerk to edge out the win and claim National Champ for the first time with a 327kg total.