Lo­cal weightlifters shape up for Mas­ters World Cup

The Gympie Times - - SPORT - Rowan Schindler rowan.schindler@gympi­etimes.com

TWO Gympie weightlifters are on the path to be­ing at the top of their game when they com­pete at the 2017 Aus­tralian and Ocea­nia Mas­ters Weightlift­ing Cham­pi­onships, Pa­cific Rim Mas­ters Tour­na­ment and Mas­ters World Cup from Oc­to­ber 27–30.

Tilia Tonkin, 41, and Sandie Bran­son, 50, will pick up the weights for Queens­land as well as Aus­tralia and will face off against stiff op­po­si­tion.

The tongue-ty­ing com­pe­ti­tion is a cul­mi­na­tion of Olympic weightlift­ing for the re­gion, at­tract­ing com­peti­tors from as far afield as Europe, Rus­sia and Ja­pan.

The Aus­tralian Weightlift­ing Fed­er­a­tion, a mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional Weightlift­ing Fed­er­a­tion and Ocea­nia Weightlift­ing Fed­er­a­tion, will host the event, which is ex­pected to at­tract more than 400 com­peti­tors from Pa­cific Rim na­tions.

Tonkin will com­pete in the 40 to 44-year-old less than 90kg cat­e­gory, while Bran­son will en­ter the

50 to 54-year-old less than 75kg event.

Cameron Arthur, from Stay True Gym and Gympie Cross­fit, has been train­ing Tonkin and Bran­son on their jour­ney to com­pet­i­tive lift­ing.

He said the women con­tinue to im­press him.

“They’ve been work­ing up to this week all year,” he said.

“They’ll face stiff com­pe­ti­tion but we are just happy to be there.

“It’s a huge credit to the hard work they’ve put in, I am so proud of them.

“It’s ex­cit­ing that they’re com­pet­ing for Queens­land as well as Aus­tralia.”

Arthur, 34, is also head coach of the Queens­land team, a po­si­tion from which he’ll be able to men­tor his charges along their jour­ney.

“Sandie and Tilia are ac­tively try­ing to slim down for the com­pe­ti­tion,” he said.

“The aim is to get into a lighter cat­e­gory to give you more chance of win­ning.”

Athur said Tonkin and Bran­son have shown they have the de­ter­mi­na­tion to im­prove.

“Tilia has been with me for four-and-a-half years and she’s a very de­ter­mined girl,” he said.

“She lost a lot of weight and that’s in­cred­i­ble on its own but I am so proud to see her rep­re­sent­ing.”

Both women are proof it is never too late to pick up a new sport or hobby.

“Sandy has been with the gym for about 14 months,” Arthur said.

“She went full-on with it straight away, she puts in 100% phys­i­cally and men­tally.”

❝ It’s a huge credit to the hard work they’ve put in.

— Cameron Arthur

PUMPED UP: Weightlift­ing team Tilia Tonkin, coach Cameron Arthur and Sandie Bran­son, from Gympie. PHOTO: RE­NEE AL­BRECHT

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