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The biggest day on the COVID weightlifting calendar

by theweightliftingplatform

We are approaching what is arguably the competition of the year in Australia (though we’re sure NSW would dispute that). But with a field as stacked as this at the Queensland Senior State Championships, it’s going to be one exciting comp to watch.

With 135 lifters competing and 17 clubs represented, it’s certainly the largest competition on the COVID calendar.

The top clubs represented are:

North Brisbane6
Burleigh Barbell7
Thunder Barbell9

Veterans and young guns

To start off the competition, David Hockins returns to the platform and looks the hot favourite in the 61s. David had been on a long break since 2015. Last weekend, with only four months of training back under his belt, he broke the national snatch record on his third attempt. Undoubtedly someone to keep an eye on.

The battle will be on in the 67kg men’s category. Brayden Williams and Blake Armitage are only one year apart in age and have the exact same entry total at 225. However, Blake’s best total in competition so far is 217kg, which he set at the 2019 state champs. In fact we haven’t seen him lift in an official competition since Nationals 2019. Nonetheless, Blake and Brayden will be going toe to toe for the state title in session three.

In the 59kg women’s session (session four) a young lifter new to the platform is making a name for herself. Halle Mifsud, 20, has only been competing since January 2020 and in that short amount of time has added 35kg to her total. If she can walk away a state champ after one year of competing, that’s going to set Halle up for a bright future. 

Men’s 81kg is wide open

One of the most anticipated sessions of the weekend is the 81 men’s, but with no entry by Chevy Sukkar — who has been dominating in the OWF League — the top spot on the podium will be hotly contested .

“Unfortunately I won’t be [competing], due to not being 100% fit. I feel it would be best for me to sit out and focus on the bigger goal which is the qualifiers for next year for the Commonwealth Games,” Chevy explained to The Weightlifting Platform.

Obviously, you have Ryley Porter sitting atop the start-list but very close behind you’ve got Leo Lark. It looks likely these two will thrash it out for first and second place, but then there’s the question of who nabs third.

James Norman and Keisuke Hisashi are only 1kg apart on the start-list and only 1kg apart on their PR totals. Both look like they have been lifting really well so this will be a fierce battle to watch.

We were expecting to see Brandon Wakeling to make an appearance in the 81s also but has decided it’s not a great time to compete.

It’s Cochrane’s to lose, but what about silver and bronze?

In the 64kg females category it’s safe to say Sarah Cochrane will have this one locked up barring a catastrophe. But with only 9kg separating second and sixth ranking heading into the session, anything can happen further down the table.

Looking more in depth into this, you’ll see that Tori’s entry total is 22kg lower than her best ever total. This could just be playing games with the competition as final entries are not due until 24 hours before the competition starts. We might see her bump her entry total up a bit more.

Olivia Kelly will have a tough day fighting off Tessa Milton who sits 1kg below her on the start-list, plus also pushing for that top spot against Darcy Kay who has made some incredible progress over the last year. 

Darcy has put 10kg on her total since Nationals this time last year, which is going to make her tough to beat at this year’s state champs.

Joel Gregson vs Beau Garrett 

This couldn’t be more exciting. Beau sits in the top ranked top heading into the weekend but it’s Joel who has the biggest PR total. Of course, Joel hasn’t lifted close to his 302 PR total since early 2019, but there’s no time like a competitive state champs to bring out the best in a lifter. 

Also in the 89s is the young Jaspa Hope out of Whitsunday Weightlifting Club. He sits about mid pack but with youth on his side he will be a force in the near future.

Bringing it home strong

In the final female session of the day, the amazing Charisma Amoe-Tarrant will be taking to the platform. If you follow her on Instagram you would’ve noticed that she has been training alongside her friend and junior world record holder Eileen Cikamatana. 

The final male session of the competition also won’t lack excitement. In the 102s you have Andrew Kelly and Jakob Daniels going toe to toe and then you have two Solofas in the same session.

Tashaun and Jackson Solofa, father and son, will be in the same warm-up room for their first state champs together.

We recently caught up with Jax to discuss the comp.

“Honestly my heart is full and I’m going to feel a huge sense of pride and joy having my son and daughter compete alongside me at their first ever Senior State Championships! I never really thought something like this would happen. But my kids have just followed my lead and I’m extremely proud of their hard work and dedication to their training that has allowed this special moment to happen in our family. To actually lift with my son in the same session will be something very special to my heart.”

Watch this space for all the results, news and analysis out of the comp.

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