By Dan Lonergan
Australia ended the weightlifting competition at the Commonwealth Games with three medals, one gold, one silver and one bronze and a number of personal bests and top five finishes.
Against tough opposition that campaign has to be seen as a success.
The drama and tension at the weightlifting kept the crowd on their feet and who could forget the atmosphere when Tia-Clair Toomey won gold in the women’s 58 kilo class.
She never looked like losing and lifted with so much authority and focus.
What about the silver-medal winning performance of the single mum from Hobart, Kaity Fassina in the women’s heavyweight class.
She hardly put a foot wrong in her understated and professional manner and has been described as being unlucky with her second snatch lift, where she seemed to lift cleanly but was overturned by the technical committee for slightly bending her knees.
Francois Etoundi battled through a torn bicep to claim bronze on his last competition lift in an otherworldly display of superhuman courage.
Five-time Commonwealth Games representative Deb Lovely-Acason performed brilliantly in the super heavyweight division to finish fourth and was inspired by the crowd.
She said she had not lifted as well as that since Glasgow in 2014.
There were PB’s on the first day from men’s and women’s lightweight competitors Alyce Stevenson and Philip Liao. The raw but talented Victorian Boris Elesin equalled his personal best from, while first-timer Pip Malone made an excellent top five finish.
Vannara Be made a solid display where he did not miss a lift in either the snatch or clean and jerk.
On the final night of competition popular Queenslander Damon Kelly did what he was best at in front of his home crowd, storming home in the clean and jerk to roar into medal contention before finishing fifth to a very promising young group of super heavyweights.
Kelly missed two of his three snatch attempts, but found his way in the clean and jerk. He started with 185 kg and some might say he took a risk with a 10 kilo increase, but nailed it setting the crowd alight. He wasn’t finished yet though aiming for 205 kg and got it.
Unfortunately it did not get him a medal but it was a mighty performance that mirrored that of the entire weightlifting team.