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Ribouem and Toomey set to lift in Rio

29 May 2016

WEIGHTLIFTING: Commonwealth Games gold medallist Simplice Ribouem is set to be Australia’s sole male weightlifter at the Rio Olympics, after consolidating his lead at the Oceania selection trials in Fiji.

And world cross-fit games runner-up, Tia-Clair Toomey, will be nominated to be Australia’s only female lifter after another solid performance in the selection trials.

Two-time Olympian, Damon Kelly, and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Erika Ropati-Frost, both fell short in their final bid to qualify for Olympic selection.

Ribouem, who won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and an unlucky silver four years later in Glasgow, shot to the top of the selection table with an eye-catching performance at December’s Australian Open.

The 33-year-old lifted five kilograms more than he needed to qualify for Rio, throwing down the challenge to Kelly and others.

Toomey also shot to prominence at the Australian Open, shattering her previous personal best to leapfrog Ropati-Frost in the selection race.

The 22-year-old from Gladstone only started weightlifting seriously 18 months ago, and had been juggling her cross-fit and weightlifting careers.

Ribouem, who lifted for Cameroon at the 2006 Commonwealth Games before seeking asylum in Australia, also overcame great odds to earn his Olympic nomination.

He spent 2015 battling malaria, with the December Australian Open the first time he had lifted even close to full fitness in more than a year.

ROSS SOLLY FOR WEIGHTLIFTING AUSTRALIA

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