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2015 North Queensland Open

26 March 2015

North Queensland Open

The inaugural North Queensland Open Weightlifting Tournament was a great success. Forty-four competitors from Cairns, Townsville, Airlie Beach and Mackay stepped onto the platform at the Mates4Mates Centre, Townsville, last Saturday.

The competition was conducted in four age groups for men and women – Youth, Junior, Senior; and Masters – with the placings determined by applying the Sinclair formula in the Youth, Junior and Senior groups; and the Malone-Meltzer and Sinclair formulas for the Masters.

The Whitsunday Weightlifting Club dominated the tournament with 16 lifters; and the Cairns Green Ants were also well represented. Many of the lifters in the NQ Open were competing for the first time; and most of those who had competed before achieved new Personal Best results.

Scott and Laura Amies and the Townsville Weightlifting Club did a great job preparing the venue, and the competition ran smoothly.

CLICK HERE  for the full competition results.

2015 North Queensland Open Medalists:

Youth Women:

2. Lily Wilson  1. Chelsea Nicoll  3. Emily Hinschen

Junior Women:

1. Alyssa Collins

Senior Women:

 2. Kim Hoang  1. Catherine Savory 3. Holly Armstrong

Masters Women:

2. Fiona Muxlow  1. Leanne Knox  3. Bernadette Porter

Youth Men:

2. Corey Smith  1. Jarred Hautaniemi  3. Matthew Causer

Junior Men:

2. Matthew Warren  1. Justice Fletcher

Senior Men:

2. Tim Holdsworth  1. David De Rose  3. Stephen Borgna

Masters Men:

2. Nathan Sainsbury  1. Rob Innes


Best Female Lifter: Leanne Knox (Whitsunday Weightlifting Club)


Best Male Lifter: David De Rose (Cairns Green Ants)

Published on 26 Mar 15 - 13:27

Queensland Dominates the Olitek National Championships

At the recent Olitek 2014 National Senior & Junior Championships, many of the Melbourne locals described the warm conditions as “Queensland weather”. How appropriate that was. Because, while the sun shone brightly outside, Queensland’s lifters were on fire inside the Eleiko Victorian Weightlifting Stadium, home to this year’s “Olitek Nationals”.

With 54 lifters, Queensland pipped the host state by one, to be the largest contingent at these Olitek National Championships. And it was a team of quality as well as quantity, supported by coaches Miles Wydall (Head Coach), Angela Wydall, Greg Hobl and Craig Wegert; and Team Manager Tony Ropati-Frost.


In a field of 59 women and 121 men, Queensland’s lifters won a total of 9 Gold medals, 12 Silver medals; and 6 bronze medals.

In the Best Lifter stakes, Erika Ropati-Frost and Deborah Acason came 1st and 2nd respectively, in the Senior Women’s category.


Leo Lark was the Best Junior Male Lifter


and Michelle Kahi finished 3rd among the Junior Women.


Queensland won the Team shields for Junior Men; Junior Women; and Senior Women.  These 2014 titles are now added to the National Youth Men’s; Youth Women’s; Under 15 Men’s; and Under 15 Women’s shields that Queensland's younger lifters won back in October.

Victoria won the Senior Men’s shield, which is the only national team trophy that Queensland didn’t win this year. Seven out of eight is a great result, but we can’t rest on our laurels if we want to make it a clean sweep next year.  Look out 2015, the Queenslanders are coming!

CLICK HERE  for the results of the Olitek 2014 National Senior & Junior Championships


The Queensland Government provides funding for the Queensland Weightlifting Association to get more Queenslanders active through sport and recreation.

Published on 4 Dec 14 - 16:04

2014 Queensland All Schools Championships

Students from 21 schools competed in the 2014 Queensland All Schools Championships, recently held at Toowoomba.

Fraser Jeavons (Brisbane Grammar School) broke Australian and Queensland Youth Records in the Clean & Jerk and Total; Jett Gaffney (Mackenzie State Campus) broke Australian and Queensland Under 15 Records in the Snatch and Total; and Aden Creed (Toowoomba SHS) broke a Queensland Youth Clean & Jerk Record.

The competition for the Best Lifter award in the Open Male division couldn’t have been much closer. The Sinclair scores of Harrison Gaffney (Rochedale SHS) and Jack Childs (Brisbane Grammar School) had to be scrutinised down to four decimal places, with the winner decided by a margin of 0.0008.

Harrison Gaffney from Rochedale State High School was the Best Male Lifter overall


Joshua Mak from St Laurence’s College was the Best Under 15 Male Lifter


Lydia Olsen from St Mary’s College was the Best Female Lifter overall


Ella Jones from Caloundra State High School was the Best Under 15 Female Lifter


The boys from St Laurence’s College won the Roman Wojcieszuk Shield again this year


CLICK HERE for the full competition results.

Published on 27 Oct 14 - 13:39

Queenslanders Shine at 2014 Oceania Championships

2014 Oceania Senior, Junior and Youth Championships
(Continental Olympic Youth Qualification Event)
Mont Dore - New Caledonia 25 – 31 May, 2014

The Australian team arrived in the very early hours of the morning to the idyllic location of Noumea, New Caledonia for the Oceania weightlifting Championships. The competition was held at the Oceania Weightlifting institute that’s run by Paul & Lilly Coffa and was a wonderful venue to host the championships. The championships were the last qualifying event for a few countries Commonwealth Games team hopefuls and also the Youth Olympic Games qualifier, so the competition was going to be intense. 

A large number of Queenslanders were included in the Australian contingent that went over to New Caledonia with a total of 14 athletes, 7 coaches and 1 IT support person and the results of the team were tremendous. Three Queensland athletes made their international debut at this event –Maddie Wu, Leo Lark and Harrison Gaffney.

After a few days settling in to the beach front views, tropical island climate and learning a few words of French, the competition began with the women’s 44/48kg category session. We got off to a great start with Robin Parr securing our first two medals taking home the silver in the youth and the bronze in the junior women’s competition. Next up was the men’s 50/56kg category session where Harrison Gaffney made his international debut snatching 58kgs and clean & jerking 77kgs for a total of 135, finishing him in 6th spot. A very tidy performance for his first time lifting at a big international competition.

Next was the 53/58kgs session which had 3 Queensland lifters in it with Tegan Napper in the senior 53’s, Erika Ropati-Frost in the senior 58’s and Maddie Wu making her international debut in both the youth and junior 58’s. Maddi added to the medal tally by winning our first two gold’s in both the youth and the juniors. An outstanding achievement for her first international performance. Tegan Napper was successful with 6/6 lifts and a personal best with a 160kg total which was enough to secure a bronze early on in the senior 53’s. This was one of the highlight sessions of the week with a strong battle going on between Erika and fellow AUS lifter Socheata Be, both in the 58s. Both were successful with all three snatches however Socheata had a 1kg lead over Erika going into the clean and jerk. In the end, it came down to Erika needing a personal best lift to beat Socheata and she managed to do this with a huge 99kg clean and jerk, winning the silver medal with a personal best total of 176kgs.

The final session of the day was the 62kg men which brought out another QLD lifter Josh Wu. Josh had an uneven lead up into this competition due to injury, but he pulled out a great performance to take home the junior bronze medal with a total of 198kgs.

Day two of the competition saw six more Queenslanders compete. First up was the 63kg women’s session in which Haley Ward was competing as both a youth and a junior. Hayley secured a bronze medal in the youth with a personal best 114kg total. Next up was the 69kg men’s session which included seasoned junior athlete James Norman. James lifted a personal best snatch of 96kg and finished with a 218kg total which finished him in 4th, narrowly missing out on bronze.

The next session was the women’s 69kg category. This had Queenslander Michelle Kahi. This was Michelle’s first international competition since taking a few years off from the sport and she made a great return by winning the silver medal in the juniors with a 174kg total. It was also good to see New Zealand Representative Andrea Miller lifting well in this session. Andrea trains at the Cougars club in Queensland and she achieved New PB’s and broke a New Zealand record on the day.

The final session of the day was the men’s 77kg category which also had two Queenslanders, Jake Radcliffe and Leo Lark competing in both the junior and senior men’s. This was Leo’s international debut and also only his third ever weightlifting competition. Jake is another lifter who was making a return to international competition after sitting out for a number of years. Jake and Leo battled it out for an equal 230kg total and Leo winning the silver, beating Jake on body weight. Jake finished 3rd in the junior men and 8th in the senior men with a 230kg total.

Day three of the competition had just two Queenslanders, Jake Daniels and Shane Wagner. Jake was up first in the 85kg session competing in both the junior and the senior men’s. Jake finished in 3rd place in the juniors and 5th in the seniors with a personal best snatch, clean and jerk and total of253kg. Shane was the last Queenslander of the day and finished it off with a gold medal in the junior men’s with a personal best snatch of 107kg and 238kg total.

The final day of competition saw dual Olympian 75kg+ lifter Deborah Acason take to the platform. Deb put in a great performance and managed a silver medal with a 237 total.

Notably absent from the Championships were Damon Kelly and Robert Galsworthy, who opted out of the Australian Team on this occasion to ensure a full recovery from minor injuries, as they prepare for the Commonwealth Games in 8 weeks’ time.

At this year’s Oceania Championships, Queensland lifters contributed 14 medals to the Australian Team’s tally. Well done to all athletes and coaches.

Published on 19 Jun 14 - 16:19

QWA League & QWA Masters League Grand Final

2013 QWA League & Masters League Grand Final

The QWA’s League competition consist of four preliminary rounds held during the year, leading to  a Grand Final which usually takes place in November.  Lifters accumulate points when they compete in the rounds and the top five in each Division qualify for a place in the Grand Final. 

This year, as always, Grand Final day began with the Masters session. The five women and five men in this group launched the event in fine style with very few failed attempts. The competition lead changed many times, up until Coral Quinell set the highest score on her last clean & jerk, leaving Bronwyn Hitchener as the final challenger. Having set a new Masters Record in the snatch, Bronwyn called for 70kg for her third clean & jerk to win. Unfortunately for Bronwyn, this was her only “no lift” of the day and Coral remained in number 1 spot.

Coral Quinell (Milton), winner of the 2013 QWA Masters Women’s League

Bronwyn Hitchener (Toowoomba), 2nd place

Lesley Moyle (North Brisbane), 3rd Place

In the Masters Men’s competition, Trevor Walz set a cracking pace that none of the other competitors could match, eventually succeeding with all attempts and posting the highest score. Barry Harden settled into second place at the end of his run, but at that stage, Michael Teede still had a couple of attempts up his sleeve. First place was out of Michael’s reach, so he set his sights on second and called for a 9kg increase to 117kg for his final attempt. Michael cleaned the weight strongly but wasn’t able to complete the jerk.

Trevor Walz (Sunshine Coast), winner of the 2013 QWA Masters Men’s League

Barry Harden (Sunshine Coast), 2nd Place

Michael Teede (CrossFit Foxes), 3rd Place

QWA League Grand Final
In the QWA League Grand Final, lifters compete within four Divisions and the winner of each Division is awarded a cash prize and the chance to double their winnings in a head-to-head bonus round.

Division 1
One of the five finalists had withdrawn from Division 1 the day before, leaving four contenders for the title, including a veteran of numerous League Grand Finals, Luke Gardner, National Senior Championships bronze medallist Ben Shaw, and Australian Junior Team members Jake Daniels and James Norman.

Ben Shaw performed faultlessly to win by a comfortable margin, but he aggravated a niggling injury in the process which eventually made him decide not to contest the lift-off later in the day. By that time, Jake Daniels, who had finished second in the group, was at home more than 100km away and he declined the offer to return for the “Lift-Off”. So Luke Gardner agreed to sub in as the Division 1 contestant for the bonus round.

Division 1 winner Benjamin Shaw

Division 2
This was another four-cornered contest, with Dale Finlayson being the thorn among the roses – Bonnie Sleeman, Jenny Butler and Stacy Koh.

As in Division 1, the lifter who secured all attempts came out on top. Although Jenny Butler set new Australian Masters Records, Dale Finlayson achieved six good lifts and a new personal best snatch to win.

Division 2 winner: Dale Finlayson (Alive Barbell Club)

Division 3
This group delivered the closest competition of all the Divisional Finals. Hayley Ward, Pat Galligan, Jake Ratcliffe and Doug Higginson didn’t miss a beat in the snatch segment. James Pakchung suffered a setback when he failed his third snatch, but even that didn’t put him far behind and he stayed ahead of the pack through the clean & jerks, right up until the last attempt of the competition.

Jake Ratcliffe’s campaign faltered when he became light headed after standing out of the clean on his last two attempts and failed to complete either of them. Pat Galligan lifted consistently and achieved new personal bests in snatch, clean & jerk and total, picking up the maximum number of bonus points. James was sitting in 1st place with only Doug Higginson left to finish and Doug punched out a solid 131kg clean & jerk to take the title.

Division 3 winner: Doug Higginson (Cougars)

Division 4
None of the four lifters in the Division 4 final had much more than a year’s experience on the platform and new personal bests were the order of the day for this group. Josh Mak, Keya Woodland and Nadine Newbery all missed one attempt in the snatch, giving Mike Ward an advantage that he capitalised on and maintained through to the end of the competition. Mike didn’t put a foot wrong and was able to stick to his plan, eventually taking out Division 4.

Division 4 winner: Michael Ward (Gold Coast)

Bonus Round
And so the competition moved on into the Bonus Round. This is where the four lifters choose either snatch or clean & jerk; begin with 90% of their Personal Best; and lift in turn while the weights are progressively increased by 2.5% in each round until there is only one lifter left who hasn’t failed an attempt.

Dale, Luke and Michael chose to perform the clean & jerk; and Doug chose the snatch. With the lifting order set by the competitor’s scores from the Divisional Finals, Dale started things off with 117kg, followed by Luke on 152kg, then Mike at 99kg and finally Doug on 96kg to complete the first round. All four moved through the next two rounds without a fall. Luke Gardner was the first one out, at 100% which equated to 169kg.

Dale, Mike and Doug all completed their 100% attempts, but Dale and Mike couldn’t get past that mark, missing their 102% attempts in the next round. This made Doug the winner and he could have called it a day right there, but with nothing to lose, he decided to take one more lift and with that final attempt, the QWA League which had begun in February was over for another year.

CLICK HERE  for the Masters League Results

CLICK HERE  for the QWA League Results

Published on 21 Nov 13 - 16:59


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