Session One of the 2020 Australian Open featured women from the 49kg, 55kg and 59kg weight classes. It was a relatively bumpy session, despite including only five lifters. No one went 3/3 in the snatch. In fact, out of 15 attempts across all lifters, seven failed.
This possibly spooked the athletes a bit, as they all tapped the brakes in the clean & jerk. Only three misses here: Mary Lifu attempting 93kg, Jacinta Suamgaysay, 95kg, and Jenly Wini, who shot for (and missed) 100kg on her second attempt — but which she then made easily after recomposing herself for her third attempt.
Veteran Aussie lifter Erika Yamasaki played some mind games early on, changing her opening snatch attempt twice, jumping from 65kg to 69kg before settling on 72kg — her final result, given she missed her second and third attempts. She made no dramatic leaps in the clean & jerk, going 3/3 with 93kg on her final attempt (9kg below her best in this class).
Prior to the comp, there was an interesting development in Erika’s entry total. Her early total was lodged at 180kg, which is only 1kg below her best ever total in the 55kg class. However, on Thursday, she dropped this to 170kg, indicating Erika planned to take some pressure off her performance at the Open, in preparation for giving it her all at Oceania Champs. The latter is a gold-level Olympic qualifier, whereas the Open is bronze level — so there aren’t as many Robi points up for grabs.
Speaking of Tokyo 2020, the 35-year-old Loa Dika Toua (49kg) has already been to the Olympics… four times. Now, she’s pushing for a fifth. If she makes it, she will be the first female weightlifter in history to bask in five Olympic summers.
Out on the platform today, Dika made some good lifts, powering almost every snatch and clean, and basically driving her final jerk through the roof, though she missed her third snatch attempt. But for Dika, this comp won’t guarantee her fate either way. As it stands, she’s still on track for the Olympics, but she hasn’t clinched a spot yet.
After the snatches, some of the judges were overheard complaining about the stadium’s lighting. The lighting was great for photos, not so much for judging, they said. During attempts, light danced around lifters’ arms, making it difficult to tell the difference between a bent elbow and a twisting shadow. For line balls, they gave the lifter the benefit of the doubt.
As a bonus insider observation, we also spotted Eileen Cikamatana assisting Jenly Wini (59kg), holding her towel and supporting from the wings.
Loa Dika Toua — Gold
Erika Yamasaki — Gold
Mary Lifu — Silver
Jacinta Suamgaysay — Bronze
Jenly Wini — Gold