Richard Patterson wins weightlifting gold

NATHAN BURDON IN GLASGOW
Last updated 10:36 29/07/2014
LAWRENCE SMITH/Stuff.co.nz

Mixing fitness, work and a relationship can be enough to make Commonwealth Games-bound weightlifters Richard Patterson and Pip Hale cry.

Richard Patterson
Getty Images Zoom
Richard Patterson reacts after winning the gold medal at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow.
Richard Patterson
Getty Images
GOLDEN LIFT: Richard Patterson reacts after winning gold at the Commonwealth Games.

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Richie Patterson will go from a gold medal ceremony to his own wedding ceremony when he marries weightlifting team-mate Phillipa Hale on Thursday.

The Auckland crossfit business owner, who won a silver medal at the Delhi Commonwealth Games four years ago and represented New Zealand at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, won his 85kg class in Glasgow this morning.

He did so with a combined lift of 335kg; 151kg in the snatch and 184kg in the clean and jerk.

He and Hale, who finished sixth in the women's 53kg class earlier this week and set a New Zealand record, will get married in a small ceremony at the heritage listed Pollok House in Glasgow, surrounded by their families.

''It's kind of weird because most people would stress about their wedding, but I've been more about the competition,'' Patterson joked.

''I always said I was coming here for my gold, but either way I was getting a piece of gold at the end of it anyway - so now I get two. I'm super happy, she's been such a rock to my training and been there for me the whole way.''

Patterson said he's already agreed there would be no medals in the wedding photos, although he would be keeping his beard.

He left it until his final lift before claiming the gold medal at the Clyde Auditorium.

He led the standings from Canadian Pascal Plamondon courtesy of his lower body weight after both heaved a disappointing 151kg in the snatch.

Plamondon and young Indian lifter Viscal Thakur then put the pressure on with their clean and jerks, before Patterson entered the fray as the last competitor to emerge from the warmup area with an attempt at 184kg for a total of 335kg.

''I was always going to come down on the top of the last lift. I kind of know what the Indian lifter was capable of, I competed against him last year and I knew he was sitting at around 182 for a max attempt.

''The Canadian boy has a massive snatch, but because we both had a bad day with the snatch, it left me even with him. If he'd got a lead in that I would have had to go a little bit bigger.''

Patterson blew his first attempt and then couldn't get the judges to sign off on his second, leaving him one chance to claim the gold medal or return to New Zealand without even placing.

Asked how he felt as he prepared for his final lift, Patterson threw the question back at the media.

''How did you feel? Times that by about 10,'' he said.

''Basically, I came here to win and I put my starting weight so heavy that I was going to come in to win and I did a 180 out the back pretty comfortable, so I'm pretty confident that I was going to come out and nail it before [I started].

Patterson said he had to give himself a talking to before heading back onto centre stage for his final attempt.

''Look I've lifted this weight almost every week, day in, day out and it's just calming myself back down to go and do it. Even the last one I locked it overhead and had a couple of steps backwards on it.''

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Thakur finished with silver and Plamondon bronze.

Christchurch's Saxon Gregory-Hunt finished ninth in his Commonwealth Games debut with lifts of 130kg in the snatch and 165kg in the clean and jerk for a combined total of 295kg.

- Stuff

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