The weekend saw a flurry of competitions featuring some incredible lifting.
To start with, Queensland’s Under 15 & Youth State Championships. As Queenslanders tend to do, they broke numerous records.
Maddison Power, 17, was a stand-out just as we expected. She went 5/6, clinching a National Youth snatch record in the process. She also narrowly missed a 96kg clean & jerk, which would have broken another one of her own National records.
Tori Gallegos, 17, just looks like she’s on a rampage. Tori broke the National total and clean & jerk records. This was her second C-grade performance with a PR total, which really goes to show how much more potential she has. If it weren’t for the lockdown, Tori would have stepped out onto the Junior Worlds platform as a Youth lifter this year.
The two 102+ Under 15 lifters, Joseph Haira-Te Maari and Tashaun Solofa, went toe to toe with Joseph getting the edge after a big 90kg snatch to break the national record and a 5kg leading. Solofa came out swinging in the Clean & jerk opening with 110kg and then going on to hit 116kg for a national Clean & jerk record, National total record and the win by 1kg.
Joshua Sargeant, 16, took the win in the 81s in a dominant fashion after beating his PR total, which he only set a month ago, by 8kg.
Over in New South Wales, we saw Ridge Barredo take the platform again. This was obviously not a serious competition for Ridge, as he only snatched 100kg and cleaned & jerked 140kg — well below his best.
Over in WA, the 96kg records are slowly changing hands to David James. David crushed the National snatch record by 6kg with a 151kg snatch. Coupled with his 177kg clean & jerk, this increases his total to 328kg, which equals Ridge’s National total record and gives Australian weightlifting another A-grade competitor in the ranks.
Competition at the highest level in Australian weightlifting has been lacking in recent years. A lot of the top lifters in the country are well above the rest of the field, and so have no real challengers nipping at their heels. But the appearance of David James is starting to shake the status quo. And stronger competition is exactly what Australian weightlifting needs to light a fire under its athletes, to push them higher and higher on the world stage.
WA is starting to really look like a power house of weightlifting with so many young lifters excelling.
Oliver Saxton, one of the youngest lifters in the field at 17 years old, broke his own National Youth snatch record at 116kg. After taking a large jump to 140kg after making his first attempt at 130kg, Saxton missed his second two clean & jerks, which left him with a 246kg total.
Ruby Carwardine didn’t quite have the day she was after, only going 2/6. Ruby dropped down to the 69s for this comp and even though she won by a landslide, she would have also won the next weight class up as well.
There’s a new kid on the block that you need to look out for: Kenneth Barnett. Kenneth has only been lifting in comps since mid 2019, and although on the weekend he didn’t hit his best lifts ever, he still broke a National clean & jerk record at 125kg and total record at 212kg after dropping down to the 61s.
We also saw the return of Kiana Elliott to the platform. She didn’t produce the massive numbers we’ve seen from her in the past, but it’s always great to see Kiana lift no matter the occasion.