Athlete Blog: Tracey Lambrechs – Qualifying for the Commonwealth Games

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Gold Coast you beauty! I mean what’s not to like about the warm weather, beach life and the shopping? Not being biased just because I had a great competition at the Gold Coast Sport and Leisure centre or anything…

So just to update everyone, at the end of August, I got to go back to the Gold Coast for the second time in my life. While most go for a holiday, I had a very important job to do. I needed to make my mark as a 90kg weightlifter, as well as qualify for the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships being held November/December this year in Anaheim.

Well, talk about one high-pressured competition! Every athlete in every category was fighting for a place to secure their selection for next year’s Commonwealth Games. It’s quite easy to get caught up in other athletes’ games and strategic moves, but it’s actually very interesting – more so than the actual lifters lifting. Being one of the heavier lifters, I tend to lift towards the last day of competition, so I managed to watch a fair amount of the New Zealanders compete. The team did well, and as usual, I found them very inspirational.

This competition was not like the last two I have had: eating popcorn the night before to make sure that my bodyweight was correct. In fact, I’d actually made weight four days early! This was great for me because it meant that I could eat normally right up until the morning of competition! Obviously, I was still monitoring what I ate, but at least I could eat. Let me tell you, plain rice has never tasted so good!

I felt quite good on my way to the competition, singing that new song Glorious by Macklemore. I had no idea what was going to happen when I finally got my hands on the bar. I knew it was going to be a very interesting competition, as a lot of the girls who I have competed against in the heavier category had dropped down to the lighter category to avoid the whole transgender issue in the heaviest category. It was such an unknown, but like a very good friend of mine said “it would be like competing in your old category: same people, but you’re stronger and more prepared”.

I was so happy throughout the whole competition, I got five out of six lifts. I hadn’t even attempted these weights in training yet, but I was determined to hit my numbers and show my intentions for the Commonwealth Games next year. Unfortunately, I missed my last jerk, which meant I missed out on the total required to qualify for the World Champs. So, fair to say, even though I had a 13kg personal best and a handful of New Zealand records, I was a little disappointed. Currently, I’m waiting on the New Zealand weighting selectors to decide if they will let me compete at the World Champs this year, after I was only 4kgs short of the qualifying total. So fingers and toes crossed please!

Coming up in October is the New Zealand Nationals being held in Dunedin, and then the World Championships (hopefully) in Anaheim in November/December. So, stay tuned if you would like to follow me on the end my 2017 journey and into the build up to the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

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