Wakeling smashes records on the way to Pacific Games gold
11 July 2019
SAMOA 2019: Australia has continued to put strong results on the board on Day 4 of Samoa 2019, with the weightlifters adding three gold, two silver and two bronze to the medal tally.
Brandon Wakeling was crowned Men’s 73kg Pacific Games Champion, and can also add the titles of Oceania Champion and Commonwealth Championships silver medallist to his resume.
Wakeling won silver in the snatch with a total of 123kg, before winning clean and jerk gold with 167kg to take out the overall Samoa 2019 gold medal with a total of 290kg.
In securing the gold, the 25-year-old set a new clean and jerk Australian record, a new Total Australian record, a new Total PB by 3kg, and a new clean and jerk Commonwealth record – which he held for a few minutes before the eventual Commonwealth Championships gold medallist, India’s Achinta Sheuli, topped it with 169kg.
Wakeling said he felt confident heading into today’s competition.
“I had lifted more in training in the weeks leading into this week,” he said. “I had bigger numbers in mind for this competition, but as competitions go for weightlifting it’s all about numbers, so it depends on what your competition does. You simply add 1kg more because it’s easier than trying to do way more than needed.”
Wakeling has only been lifting since the end of 2015, and is already Australia’s top ranked 73kg lifter. While he’s “really happy” to have beat his own Australian records, he’s still chasing the elusive snatch record.
“I’m a little bit shy on the snatch at the moment, but to have the other two records under wraps feels good.
“Hopefully in the next competition at World Championships in 9 week, I can snag the third one and get my Commonwealth record back too - which I know I’m capable of.
“But for us, we have a bigger goal in mind which is the Olympics, and today I extended my lead as the top-ranked Oceania athlete as this is a gold-standard qualification event, so I'm really happy about that”
Earlier in the day, 76kg lifter Stephanie Davies won bronze in the snatch with 85kg and silver in the clean and jerk with 111kg to win bronze overall with a total of 196kg.
Ebony Gorincu (71kg) added another gold medal to Australia’s tally with first place in the snatch with a top lift of 91kg. However, she was unable to successfully lift her clean and jerk weight of 110kg, so didn’t record a total.
In other sports….
Australia’s men’s pair of Marcus Ferguson and Tim Dickson had their third straight two-set victory, defeating Papua New Guinea to secure their place in Friday’s semi-final.
Australia’s female duo of Britt Kendall and Stef Weiler were defeated in two sets by a Vanuatu in the quarter-final, bringing an end to their Samoa 2019 Pacific Games run.
Paris Van Den Herik, finished second in both races on Day 4, but was unfortunately disqualified in the second race for illegally rocking the boat.
Coming up on Friday July 12…
• Australia has three Pacific Games lifters competing, with Kaitlyn Fassina (W87kg), Boris Elesin (M89kg) and Joel Gregson (M89kg) all hoping to add to Australia’s string of weightlifting medals.
• Marcus Ferguson and Tim Dickson will play American Samoa in the men’s Beach Volleyball semi-final in the morning, before returning to the court in the afternoon for a shot at the gold or bronze medal.
• Australia kicks off its Rugby 7s campaign on Friday, starting with American Samoa at 8.44am (5.44 AEST), followed by New Caledonia at 12.02pm (9.02 AEST) and Samoa at 3.22pm (12.02 AEST)
• Paris Van Den Herik also continues her Laser Radial competition, as she hits the water for the fourth straight day of racing.