Nepia strikes gold, NZ record
Nelson's Jaydene Nepia set a New Zealand junior clean and jerk record as part of her winning performance at the weekend's South Island weightlifting championships.
Nepia was one of 10 Nelson Weightlifting Club members competing in Christchurch and one of four to return home with a title after setting a new mark of 56kg in the 48kg junior women's clean and jerk.
Her record-breaking lift beat her own previous mark by 1kg, Nepia also snatching 43kg, on her second attempt at the weight, for a winning 99kg total. She failed with second and third clean and jerk attempts at 60kg and 62kg respectively.
The two-day event attracted 84 lifters from Invercargill, Dunedin and two Christchurch clubs, both with more than 30 competitors.
Luke Smith, Christian Jessop and Abby Cederman also won their respective weight divisions, while club coach Ed Keene and Jeremy McIlroy finished second and third in the senior men's 77kg division.
Competing in the junior men's 77kg division, Smith's winning 213kg total comprised a 93kg snatch and 120kg clean and jerk.
Jessop took out the junior men's 85kg title with a 105kg snatch and 120kg clean and jerk for a 225kg total, while Cederman's title-winning 142kg total in the senior women's 75kg division comprised a 62kg snatch and 80kg clean and jerk.
Nepia and Smith were both part of the 24-person New Zealand team that competed at the recent Oceania championships in New Caledonia.
Christchurch's Stewart Bruerton totalled 229kg (102kg/127kg) to comfortably win the senior men's 77kg title, although Keene and McIlroy became locked in a tight battle for second. Both eventually totalled 190kg although Keene claimed second place by virtue of his 2.4kg lighter body weight. Both lifters achieved an 85kg snatch and a 105kg clean and jerk.
Liam Bourke, Dean Manson, Reuben Riddell and Jason Hylkema all contested the senior men's 105kg division, although Hylkema failed to produce a total after missing all three of his snatch attempts at 120kg. He was successful with a 140kg clean and jerk.
Bourke totalled 240kg (100kg/140kg) for fourth, Manson 210kg (90kg/120kg) for fifth and Riddell 208kg (90kg/118kg) for sixth.
Three other Nelson club lifters could not attend the championships due to other commitments.
Keene said that while the results were very satisfying, the club was still hoping to attract more lifters.
"We were hoping to get some high placings but weren't expecting as many golds as we got . . . we're really happy with it," Keene said.
"Our club is still in a growth stage and this competition showed us we need more lifters in every weight category. We need anyone from 40kg to 140kg, both male and female, and aged from 15 to 25 years."
The club's coaching sessions are at Results Gym on Wednesday night from 4.30pm to 7.30pm and on Saturday morning from 10.30am to 12.30pm and invited anyone interested to attend.
He said the club would also like to hear from any former lifters who would like to help with coaching, refereeing or local competitions. The club's also looking for old lifting suits, boots and belts that can be used by beginners. Keene can be contacted on 0275 707 033 or at Results Gym.
- The Nelson Mail
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