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Aussie lifters impress at Oceanias

1 June 2014

WEIGHTLIFTING: When dual Olympian Deborah Acason lifted her way to silver on the final day of the Oceania Weightlifting Championships it capped off an outstanding week for the Australians, and the women in particular. 

Team manager Dr Robert Mitchell was full of praise for the squad. 

“I was extremely pleased with our women especially,” Dr Mitchell said on his return from New Caledonia. 

“Four of them had perfect lifts, six out of six. That’s unheard of.” 

The performance of the Australian women earned them the Senior Women’s Team Trophy. 

London Olympian Seen Lee won gold in the 63kg class, Erika Yamasaki silver and Socheata Be bronze in the 58kg class, Tegan Napper bronze in the 53kg class and Kylie Lindbeck bronze in the 75kg class. 

Dr Mitchell was also full of praise for the team veteran, Acason, who gave her usual solid performance to win silver in the +75kg division. 

“She really is the People’s Champion,” Dr Mitchell said of the 2004 and 2008 Olympian. 

“You load the bar up, and she goes out and lifts it. You would never bet against her, and she’s still got a lot more in her.” 

Many of the top Australian male weightlifters didn’t go the Oceania Championships, but Australia still came away with a gold to Francois Etoundi and silver to Simplice Ribouem. 

Also exciting the Australian team in New Caledonia was the cohesion between the coaches. 

“It was a really professional and coordinated effort by all the coaches,” Dr Mitchell said. 

“In many ways it was a dress rehearsal for the Commonwealth Games, and it was absolutely perfect.” 

There were good signs from the junior and youth teams, who Dr Mitchell says showed they can match it with the best in Oceania. 

And in some further good news for the Australian Commonwealth Games team, the big two – Damon Kelly and Chris Rae – are both back in full training, and Jenna Myers has proved her fitness and will take her spot in Glasgow. 

“She’s certainly a determined person,” Dr Mitchell said of Myers. 

“She’s recovered well from a pretty serious injury.” 

Ross Solly for Weightlifting Australia

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