01 Jun THE 15th INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR BATTLE 2016 LOCHEN, AUSTRIA
Over the weekend of 27-28th May 2016, 10 of Weightlifting Wales’ most promising Junior Weightlifters competed at the Junior battle in Lochen, Austria.
This is an annual event attracting Weightlifters from all over Europe and one that Wales has now attended for several years.
The Squad and Coaches met at Birmingham on Wednesday evening in preparation for a very early start and flights to Frankfurt then Austria. Despite the 0345hrs meeting time set by team manager Chris Williams, spirits were high in the camp.
After a long day of travel all lifters were excited of the prospect of the forthcoming competition, this for the majority would be their biggest competition ever and also their first representing Wales.
On Friday 27th May the competition started with Ben Foggo of NW1, the first competitor from the team to lift. Ben went exceptionally well lifting 43 kg in the snatch followed by 65 kg in the C&J. This saw Ben claim the Gold medal and a fantastic start for Team Wales.
Next to lift was Leah Timms from Breezes Gym, Leah had been suffering with a slight injury prior to the competition, but put this behind her and produced a fantastic performance lifting 50 kg in the Snatch and a very impressive 62 kg in the C&J. This saw Leah in 4th position in a very tight and competitive group.
The next group lifting included 3 of Team Wales U17 Girls. This was Bethan Roberts (NW1), Niamh Roach (SAW) and Chloe Hood (SAW).
As all previous groups this was a very hard fought affair, with all 3 Girls having hard battles throughout. Bethan Roberts lifted 38 kg in the Snatch, after missing her 1st and 3rd attempt, she showed great determination to bounce back and get 47 kg in the C&J to secure a very good Bronze medal.
Niamh and Chloe both produced some of the gutsiest performance the coaches and watching audience had seen. Niamh lifted 46 kg in the Snatch and followed this up with a fantastic opening 60 kg C&J. Niamh then attempted 64 kg on her 2nd and 3rd attempts. The fight on the 2nd attempt was unbelievable, Gwilym Pari would have been proud of it!!
Chloe had a solid start in the snatch lifting 55 kg, then missed both her 1st and 2nd attempts at 66kg in the C&J. She showed amazing heart and character to nail the 3rd attempt.
Both Chloe and Niamh ended 4th in their respective categories, with a bit of luck these would have both been very well deserved Medals.
The final session of the day saw Tayla Howe (SA1) and Holly Knowles (NW1) compete in the Girls U20/U23 competition.
Both of the girls put up a fantastic performance with Holly posting 63 kg in the Snatch and 76 kg in the C&J, to secure another 4th place, agonisingly close to a podium position.
Tayla then produced a solid 70 kg in the Snatch followed up by arguably the best lift of the day a 96 kg C&J. The crowd from all Nations, especially the Team Wales contingent were extremely noisy during the final session.
This effort saw Tayla secure a fantastic Silver medal and in addition, she was awarded 2nd in the Best Female Lifter Competition.
Saturday saw Team Wales only have 3 weightlifters remaining in the competition. Starting the day for Team Wales was Theo Morris (SA1). This was Theo’s 2nd ever competition, showing great determination and huge potential to post 60 kg in the snatch and a very good 93 kg in the C&J. This saw Theo 5th overall, a great position considering his lack of competition experience.
The penultimate lifter was Cieran Rippin (SA1), the most experienced member of the young team. Throughout the competition and trip Cieran had been a great team member, helping some of the younger lifters.
It was just reward for all his efforts to see Cieran win the Gold in the 69 kg Category. Cieran lifted 100 kg in the snatch, narrowly missing a PB attempt at 108 kg on his 3rd lift.
Cieran then lifted 122 kg in the C&J, once again narrowly missing a PB on his 3rd attempt. Such was his performance on the day he would have won the 77kg category as well.
The final Lifter of the day was Harry Misangyi (NW1), by now the Weightlifting hall was packed to the rafters, with a very vocal and noisy crowd. Team Wales being the loudest as usual!!
Harry produced a fantastic performance completing 116 kg in the Snatch, just missing an 11 kg PB of 120 kg. Showing experience way beyond his years, Harry then lifted another comp PB of 152 kg in the C&J. A huge performance from a very promising young Weightlifter seeing Harry secure a very well deserved Gold.
A fantastic Competition for Team securing 3 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze Medals. Well done to all Weightlifters and Coaches Ross Miller and Christie Marie Williams.