Trans-Tasman contest ends the heavyweight battle19 January 2013
WEIGHTLIFTING: An electrifying Trans-Tasman contest was the highlight of the heavyweights battle in the men’s 105kg event, which capped off a thrilling end to the weightlifting competition of the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF).
China’s Changsheng Wu proved the victor with a strong total of 310kg. Even after only lifting a snatch of 140kg and clean and jerk of 170kg, the two lifts were heavy on the scales of points.
“I’m happy and excited to have won, but I’d like more competitors to join in the contest,” Wu said.
In silver place and hot on Wu’s tail was Oceania’s Petunu Opeloge, who finished with a solid 290kg total. After lifting the same 170kg clean and jerk as Wu did, Opeloge could only manage a 120kg snatch.
The highlight of the event though was the electrifying Trans-Tasman bronze battle between the New Zealander Samuel Prendergast and Australian Ryan Pasfield.
Following the snatch event, Prendergast had a 10kg lead on Pasfield so the decider was the clean and jerk event.
Both the New Zealander and Australian lifted an impressive 145kg in their second attempts. Prendergast in his final attempt failed a 148kg lift.
Pasfield needed to clear his final clean and jerk of 155kg to win bronze but failed to make the lift. Prendergast walked away with the bronze, with a combined total of 260kg, surpassing Pasfield’s total of 250kg.
“I’m pretty happy. It was a good competition,” Prendergast said.
“The contest [between Pasfield] was great because it really pushed me harder.”
Pasfield also acknowledged the Trans-Tasman battle.
“It was a good fun context,” he said. “I had two chances and stuffed up twice. My clean and jerk is my strong point but I need to work on my snatch because that’s where I lost it.”
It was the first international competition for fellow Australian Kurt Hill, who finished fifth with a total of 220kg.
“I did OK but I could’ve did a lot better,” Hill said. “The nerves got to me so I’ll need to get stronger for next time and build my overhead strength.”
Hill finished strong after failing his second clean and jerk attempt of 122kg, and then recovered to lift a strong 125kg in his final attempt to the applauding crowd.
This event marked the end of the weightlifting for the 2013 AYOF.
China topped the medal tally with Wu’s gold medal ending China’s final medal tally to eight in total: six gold, one silver and one bronze.
The combined Oceania team finished strong in second place with seven medals, including two gold, four silver and a bronze. Whilst Australia finished with five medals in total, including one silver and four bronze.
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Contact the author of this story: @MoTaha1