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The weight on Toomey’s mind

2 August 2016

WEIGHTLIFTING: Tia-Clair Toomey is on a mission.

After finishing second at the World Crossfit Games last month in California, Toomey is ready – and hungry - to start fresh at the weightlifting competition at Rio Olympics.

Toomey finished second at the same Games in 2015 and hoped to go one better this year. However, her love of both sports – crossfit and weightlifting – still remains strong.

“Crossfit drew me to weightlifting. But I need both of them to be able to perform at high levels,” she said.

A determined Toomey trained at Riocentro 5 today just 24 hours after arriving in Rio and said her preparation for the 58kg division was shaping up well.

“I’m really pumped for the Olympics. Coming out of another big event I don’t feel like it has fatigued me or anything too much,” she said.

“Coming second I was a bit unhappy about. It was good being on the podium again but I was really disappointed with not coming first.

“When you’re at the start of a competition you have every opportunity to put all your effort in.

“Coming in to Rio I’m feeling very nervous but really excited to get on that platform and lift as much as I can.”

Rowing pictogram

Toomey, 23, will make her Olympic debut in Rio and she is eager to challenge the field.

Although she is not expecting to finish with a medal, there are two goals she has her mind set on.

“I definitely feel hungry to do my personal best,” she said.

“My goal would be to hopefully get a PB total and also hopefully get in the top 20.”

Outside of that Toomey is excited about competing in her first Olympic Games.

After arriving on Sunday she has settled into the Athlete’s Village and orientated herself with the Games facilities, and now has time to take in the experience prior to competing on Monday 8 August.

Today was her last “heavy session” of training, hitting close to her starting weight for the competition, and her focus will now shift to ensuring her body weight is in check and light training to keep the body moving.

“It’s a little bit more low key (than crossfit training), I’m not doing as much training as I was leading in to the Crossfit World Games. I’m only training once a day for a few hours so it’s not as intense.

“For me I’m enjoying the experience of not putting too much pressure on myself. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I want to remember forever.”

Toomey’s teammate Simplice Ribouem also trained today and, although in awe of his female counterpart’s dual sporting abilities, Ribouem is focused on his weightlifting duties.

Ribouem will compete in the 94kg weight division and has shown outstanding form, including in December at the Australian Open where he lifted 5kg higher than the Rio Qualifier of 346kg.

““I’m very confident and strong in my mind otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” he said.

“I’ve trained good, I’ve been preparing for this since I came back last year. I think I’m ready to smash the weight… I just keep going and surprise myself.”

Candice Keller
olympics.com.au

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