Strength in numbers at champs

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Ready for action . . . Members of the Otago weightlifting team (back from left) Owen Webb, Leigh Martel, Callan Helms, Nikita Parker, manager Shanaya Allan, Amanda Gould and (front) Josh Homersham at one of their final training sessions before the national event this weekend. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Dunedin will be flooded with the country’s strongest men and women for the national weightlifting championship at the Edgar Centre this weekend.

The event will be hosted by Otago Weightlifting and it will be the first time in more than 40 years the event has been held in Dunedin.

There will be 115 lifters from all over the country, including nine from Otago, lining up at the three-day event.

Otago Weightlifting manager Shanaya Allan said seven of the Otago lifters had a good shot at securing a medal, while others would be aiming for personal bests.

“For the majority of athletes, this is the pinnacle.”

The club put in a successful bid for the championships last October and had spent most of this year working towards making it a great event.

“All the little things add up.”

for the club to perform against the best in the country and show it was up to the challenge.

There will be free entry into the More FM Arena for those who want to catch a glimpse of the action.

It would give people a chance to see athletes performing at a top level, Allan said.

“It’s something quite out of the ordinary for people that don’t know the sport.”

Leigh Martel will compete in the women’s 58kg event, while Amanda Gould will lift in the women’s 63kg division.

Nikita Parker will step up in the women’s 69kg division and Savannah Rose Corbett will compete in the women’s 90kg-plus grade.

Owen Webb and Josh Homersham (both 18) will compete in the junior and senior men’s 69kg and 85kg division, respectively.

Jiro Ishida will also line up in the men’s 69kg grade.

Robert Jordan will be in the men’s 94kg event and Callan Helms will compete in the men’s 105kg grade.