• To Birmingham 2022

11-strong in number and spirit as weightlifters look to heave for medals in Birmingham

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The Australian weightlifting team has been announced for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, with the 11 strong Team Members ready to be bold, brave and brilliant in Birmingham.

Eileen Cikamatana might be the youngest weightlifter on Australia’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games team, but history beckons for the powerful prodigy.

Cikamatana could become the first woman to win Commonwealth Games gold medals for two different countries in individual events when she competes in Birmingham.

Cikamatana, 22, claimed gold for Fiji in the 90kg class at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and is among an 11-strong Australian weightlifting squad striving for success in England.

The weightlifters, announced to coincide with the 100 days to go milestone, are the first Australian Team Members to be announced in an expected total of 425 who will represent the green and gold at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Cikamatana has deep ties to Australia. After becoming a citizen in Sydney, she claimed gold medals for her new country in junior World Cup events in 2019 and 2020.

This year she is competing in the 87kg class, grateful for the opportunity her adopted country has afforded her as she looks to a golden future for Australia.

“To get that opportunity to represent another country, especially Australia, where you get respected for what you do, it is a dream come true,” Cikamatana said.

“No words can describe the feeling of it. You lift to get more medals, break records and make the country proud, and I’m appreciative of the opportunity that they’ve given me.”

There are seven Commonwealth Games debutants on the 2022 weightlifting team, among them former sprinter and bobsledder Ebony Gorincu from Queensland and Western Australian Royal Australian Navy instructor Suamili Nanai.

For Gorincu, who will compete in the 76kg class, the chance to represent Australia on the world stage is a dream that has been hard-realised but well-deserved. A talented sprinter and hurdler, the Queenslander took up weightlifting to build strength when switching sports to bobsleigh in the hope of competing at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

Gorincu competed at the world championships in Tashkent in 2021 and is moving up a weight division as she looks to represent the green and gold with pride in Birmingham.

Nanai, a combat services officer who is an instructor at the School of Maritime Warface West at HMAS Stirling in Perth, introduced weightlifting into his training regime while playing rugby. He soon excelled and earned the nation’s top ranking in the over-109kg class in 2020 before claiming gold last year in the Oceania Championships.

Birmingham 2022 Team Announcement - Weightlifting

See all the fun from the Weightlifting team announcement.

Brandon Wakeling finished seventh in the 69kg class at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, but the Queenslander is aiming for gold in Birmingham in the 73kg event. As a proud Wonnarua man and ambassador for Deadly Choices, a program empowering Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders to make healthy choices, the Tokyo Olympian is setting a fine example in his sport.

In March, Wakeling was part of a ceremony on the Gold Coast to welcome the arrival of the Queen’s Baton for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games from New Zealand.

“Being part of the Birmingham Queen’s Baton Relay last month was great and being there on the morning at the Gold Coast to welcome the Baton to Australia and witnessing the Welcome to Country was a special moment,” Wakeling said.

“The Queen’s Baton celebrations made the upcoming Commonwealth Games feel real and not too far away.

“So it is very exciting to be selected to my second Commonwealth Games, I am really looking forward to competing in Birmingham. After competing at the Gold Coast Games in front of family and friends, and then at my first Olympics in Tokyo, I can’t wait to be wearing the green and gold and competing on the world stage again.”

Also making their Commonwealth Games debuts are Kyle Bruce (NSW – 81kg), Jackson Young (NSW – 109kg), Sarah Cochrane (QLD – 64kg), Kiana Elliott (SA – 71kg) and Brenna Kean (VIC – 59kg).

Charisma Amoe-Tarrant (QLD – over-87kg) moved to Australia in 2012 but has represented Nauru, winning a silver medal at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in the over-90kg class, while Ridge Barredo (NSW – 96kg) finished eighth in the 105kg class four years ago.

Australian Team Chef de Mission Petria Thomas OAM is thrilled for the 11 weightlifters who are the first members named for the Australian team bound for Birmingham.

“We’re delighted to announce our 11 weightlifters, the first Australian Team Members officially selected to compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games,” Thomas said.

“Our weightlifters are definitely ones to keep your eye on come August, with an exciting mix of returning alumni, some who are making their Commonwealth Games debut and two weightlifters who are representing Australia at the Commonwealth Games for the first time.

“Australia has enjoyed a great history in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games, and I know these 11 Team Members will be bold, brave and brilliant in Birmingham.”

CEO of the Australian Weightlifting Federation Ian Moir welcomed today’s selection of the weightlifters who are bound for Birmingham.

“It has been a short qualification process for the Commonwealth Games on the back of the Tokyo Olympics, but our athletes have committed themselves to being ready for the Birmingham Games,” Mr Moir said.

“We have assembled a strong team of 11 athletes, there are a mixture of returning Commonwealth Games representatives and seven who will be making their Games debut.

“I know all of them can’t wait to be wearing the green and gold again and will be working hard to add their names to the incredible legacy of Australian weightlifters at the Commonwealth Games.

“On behalf of Australian Weightlifting, we are so very proud of each and every one of these athletes. We can’t wait to watch them compete on the platform in Birmingham.”

 

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Australian Weightlifting Team:

NAME EVENT AGE COMMONWEALTH GAMES SUBURB STATE POSTCODE
Charisma Amoe-Tarrant Women's 87kg+ 22 2nd Games (2018 Representing Nauru - Silver: Women's 90kg+) Mango Hill QLD 4509
Eileen Cikamatana Women's 87kg 22 2nd Games (2018 Representing Fiji - Gold: Women's 90kg) Ryde NSW 2112
Sarah Cochrane Women's 64kg 32 Debut Heatley QLD 4814
Kiana Elliott Women's 71kg 24 Debut West Richmond SA 5033
Ebony Gorincu Women's 76kg 32 Debut Yarrabilba QLD 4207
Brenna Kean Women's 59kg 27 Debut Armstrong Creek VIC 3217
Ridge Barredo Men's 96kg 26 2nd Games (2018 - 8th: Men's 105kg) Menai NSW 2234
Kyle Bruce Men's 81kg 22 Debut Lidcombe NSW 2141
Suamili Nanai Men's 109kg+ 27 Debut Baldivis WA 6171
Brandon Wakeling Men's 73kg 28 Debut Ormeau QLD 4208
Jackson Young Men's 109kg 25 Debut Kirrawee NSW 2232

Weightlifting made its first debut at the Auckland 1950 Games and the women’s competition was introduced at the Manchester 2002 Games.

There are 16 weightlifting gold medals (eight for both women and men) on offer in Birmingham, in what is expected to be the highest standard in the sport’s history at the Games.

Australia has competed in weightlifting at every edition of the Games and is the champion of weightlifting in the Commonwealth, winning a total of 154 medals, with 58 being gold.

Australia’s most successful Commonwealth Games in weightlifting was the Victoria 1994 Commonwealth Games where Aussie lifters won 25 medals, including 14 golds.

Kiril Kounev is Australia’s male record holder for most gold medals won at the Games, winning six gold medals, three at each of the Victoria 1994 and Kuala Lumpur 1998 Commonwealth Games.

Deborah Acason (nee Lovely) is Australia’s female record holder for weightlifting medals with a total of five medals, including a gold, three silver and a bronze.

 

Commonwealth Games weightlifting medals summary by nation:

Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
Australia 58 50 46 154
India 43 47 32 122
England 43 46 24 113
Canada 29 31 41 101
Wales 19 12 22 53

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held from Thursday 28 July to Monday 8 August with the weightlifting to be conducted at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) from Saturday 30 July to Wednesday 3 August 2022.

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