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Olympians Acason and Kelly lift to national titles

5 June 2017

WEIGHTLIFTING: Two-time Olympian Deborah Acason has made a strong return to the sport of weightlifting, winning the women’s 90kg National title in Hobart on Sunday.

The 33-year-old, a gold medallist at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, and Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olymapin, has been enticed back to the sport by the prospect of lifting in front of a home crowd at the Commonwealth Games next year. 

“I’m thinking about it in the back of my head without thinking about it too much, so I’m pretty good at just doing the little steps first," Acason said.

“But it would mean a huge deal, and to be honest I probably wouldn’t be training at the moment if it wasn’t on the Gold Coast, I think I probably would have hung up the boots.”

There was a good home town win for Tasmania’s Camilla Fogagnola in the women’s 75kg class.

“I lifted perfectly, six out of six, you can’t ask for anything better than that,” Fogagnola said.

“The weight selections were not what I had in mind, but they were obviously perfect.

“So this competition just put me in contention for selection for the Commonwealth Championships and Oceania Championships on the Gold Coast in September, they’re the next big competitions and I need to lift well at that.”

Damon Kelly, a two-time Olympian and a Commonwealth Games gold medallist, easily won the men’s super heavyweight title on Saturday, despite a limited preparation because of injury and the birth of his third son.

Kelly lifted 155kg in the snatch and 190kg in the clean and jerk, for a total of 345kg.

“I’m just coming back from a quad strain which I did earlier in the year, so I’ve just been loading up slowly, bit-by-bit,” Kelly said.

“My wife gave birth to little baby Jonathon, our third boy, a couple of weeks ago so it’s been pretty hectic getting it all.

“Now that the baby is here hopefully we’ll get a good routine going and I’ll get back to work and back into training. It’s pretty busy, but there’s nothing I can do to not make it busy so I’ll have to do my best to keep training and keep pushing forward.

“I know there will be some stiff competition out there now, some good young super heavyweights in the Commonwealth, but it is still the challenge for me to get back up to my best after injury and personal changes.”

World Junior bronze medallist, Kiana Elliott, and Pacific Games gold medallist, Philippa Malone won the 63 and 69kg women’s titles respectively.

Elliott needed to set a personal best to see off a challenge by 2012 Olympian, Seen Lee, and said she is focussed on qualifying for her first Commonwealth Games next year.

“I’m pretty happy with my performance,” she said.

“It’s not my absolute best, but I made a PB in my clean and jerk which is pretty sweet.

“I have ideas of what I’m capable of. I’m definitely trying to get the best out of myself for the rest of the year.”

Malone is settling into weightlifting after moving from cross-fit, but believes it was a different sport that has equipped her best for her current endeavours.

“I’m really happy, the training has really paid off and I’ve finally found a competition ritual that works for me,” Malone said.

“I was a gymnast for 20 years, so weightlifting training is a lot like my gymnastics days, where there is a lot of repetition and trying to perfect it.

“Getting to the Gold Coast would mean everything, that’s my goal, that’s what we are working towards, so I’m looking towards December and the trials now and putting everything into it to make that spot.”

In other results Jacob Marquadt won gold in the men’s 94kg and Zac Grgurevic took the honours in the men’s 105kg.

Ross Solly
Weightlifting Australia

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