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Ribouem ready to lift for Olympic dream

14 August 2016

WEIGHTLIFTING: Not many have endured as many hurdles on the path to living out their Olympic dream as 94kg weightlifter Simplice Ribeoum.

Ribeoum was born in Cameroon and remained in Australia following the 2006 Commonwealth Games after seeking asylum. He just missed selection for London 2012 and almost had his Rio 2016 campaign derailed by a bout of malaria.

Still he bounced back from every challenge and now the 33-year-old will get the chance to show the world what he is made of when he walks out onto Riocentro Pavilion 2.

“I’m really confident and strong in my mind or else I wouldn’t be here,” Ribeoum said.

“I’ve been training well and I’m ready to smash the weight.”

Ribeoum lifted 5kg higher than the Rio qualifier at the Australian Open in late 2015 when he totalled 346kg and is now hoping to better that.

The dual Commonwealth Games medallist who lives in Victoria has been in Rio for well over a week where he has been working with coach Myles Wydall.

“He has been training well and been putting numbers up in training,” Wydall said.

“He is really relaxed, his bodyweight is good and he’s looking forward to the competition.

While Ribeoum be looking to achieve his best the Rio 2016  competition will be the toughest he has ever faced.

“It’s obviously the toughest competition you can be a part of," Wydall said.

“He will be aiming for top 16 and it will be great if he goes close to his PB.

“You can never tell how you will go at the Olympics but his preparation has been really good.”

Ribeoum lifts in Group B of the competition at 3:30pm Saturday 12 August (4:30am Sunday 13 August AEST).

Matt Bartolo
olympics.com.au

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