Strategy to the fore at National Olympic champs

Albert Anderson, of Christchurch lifts the weights of 95kg in the 69kg/77kg grade at the National...
Albert Anderson, of Christchurch lifts the weights of 95kg in the 69kg/77kg grade at the National Olympic Weightlifting Championships at the Edgar Centre yesterday. Photos: Gerard O'Brien
Vester Villalon, of North Shore.
Vester Villalon, of North Shore.
Isaac Lawgun, of Northland.
Isaac Lawgun, of Northland.
Cameron McTaggart, of North Shore.
Cameron McTaggart, of North Shore.
Ethan Hawken, of Southland.
Ethan Hawken, of Southland.

It is  as much about cat and mouse as being strong when competing in weightlifting.

The Edgar Centre hosted the first day of the National Olympic Weightlifting Championships yesterday and there was plenty of heaving and yelling to get the weights above the shoulders.

However, it is a mixture of brawn and brains.

Lifters tended to skip weights, putting the pressure on a fellow lifter who was set to start later.

One lifter in the 77kg snatch grade changed his weight seven times over two lifts as he tried to get the maximum weight in his three attempts and put pressure on a fellow competitor. It also buys a bit of time between lifts.

But it did not always work. One lifter, Jeff Leckie, of Invercargill, was a bit too ambitious in his grade and failed to notch a successful weight in his three snatch attempts.

The cream though of course rises to the top.

Auckland lifter Cameron McTaggart, who is a chance to go to the Commonwealth Games in April, came out in the 77kg snatch grade after everyone had lifted and ended up notching a 125kg lift. He celebrated by doing a somersault on the stage.

The event continues over the weekend, starting at 9am today and the big lifters in action tomorrow from 9am. It is free entry to the championships, which are the first of their kind to be held in the city for more than 40 years.

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