Weightlifter Tracey Lambrechs' faith repaid

NATHAN BURDON IN GLASGOW
Last updated 06:42 31/07/2014
Tracey Lambrechs
Getty
THROWING TIN: Tracey Lambrechs lifted 101kg in the snatch and 136kg in the clean and jerk to grab bronze in the women's 75kg-plus weightlifting competition.

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Tracey Lambrechs cried for three days after missing out on Olympic selection for London but she was never going to walk away from the weightlifting platform.

That faith was repaid this morning when she heaved her way to a bronze medal in the 75kg+ category at the Clyde Auditorium.

''I didn't ever think of quitting, I was never going to end it like that. After the competition where I missed out we had another competition after that and I broke New Zealand records. Every now and then you have those thoughts like 'what the heck am I doing, why do I do this to myself, I'm so sore half the time','' she said.

''When I see my little nieces imitating me or my girlfriends are ringing me up and telling me how great I've done, or friends rearranging their weddings for my competitions, [this] makes it all worth it.''

Lambrechs, who snatched 101kg and did 136kg for the clean and jerk for a 237kg total, has had a tough past four years.

There was the disappointment of New Zealand failing to qualify a women's team for London, a wrist injury and hip surgery. Some training partners drifted away from the sport.

But the night before her competition in Glasgow she had a team mate make her a hot chocolate and after a great nights' sleep she woke up feeling like a champion.

''I just knew today was going to be a great day.''

Lambrechs lifted 6kg below her New Zealand record in the snatch and equalled her record in the clean and jerk.

They were numbers she hadn't been getting close to during her buildup, after the pressure of expectation from those around her had taken a toll.

''A friend of mine, Dave, said to be fearless and relentless and just go out there and smash it.

''I think the buildup was quite long for this competition. I did get a lot of pressure and I did start to let the pressure consume me, so that affected my training.''

New Zealand coach Adam Storey said Lambrechs had been in the shadow of 2002 silver medallist Olivia Baker and 2006 bronze medallist Keisha-Dean Soffe.

''For Tracey, that's literally six years of work she's put into that. She's had a lot of highs and lows...to do an equal New Zealand record clean and jerk on the night, for a medal, is phenomenal. She's had a lot of pressure on her going into this because every one of our super heavyweight females in the past have medalled.''

Lambrechs improved on her performance from Delhi four years ago when she placed fifth.

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''Delhi was a great experience for me and I felt in Delhi I could have done a lot better. In Delhi I did do personal bests but I wanted to be on the podium and so today when I was lifting I was trying to remember how it felt in Delhi, like just think happy thoughts so I didn't have those feelings again.''

Nigeria's Maryam Usman won the event with a total of 280kg, while Commonwealth Games record holder Ele Opeloge, from Samoa, won the silver with a total of 271kg.

- Stuff

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