Weightlifter is Vanuatu bound
Less than two years after deciding to give weightlifting a proper crack, Hayley Whiting is preparing to pull on the New Zealand singlet for the second time.
Whiting, 24, is one of four weightlifters from New Zealand heading to the Mini Pacific Games in Vanuatu next month.
She competes in the under 75kg class and is one of the country’s best, although missing all three of her snatches at the recent nationals – where she was hoping to finish second – meant her national ranking wasn’t as high as it could have been.
Missing those snatches wasn’t physical – she missed three attempts at 77kg when her personal best was 85kg. The mental side was huge; you had to be in the right head-space.
‘‘Eighty-five (kg) is a training personal best and it’s quite hard to then go out and lift that on the platform, so my best on the platform is 81kg,’’ she said.
Whiting grew up in Ashburton and headed to Dunedin for university, where she started doing CrossFit. She continued that when she moved to Christchurch in 2014, before switching her focus entirely to weightlifting early last year and joining a weightlifting gym in Sockburn.
‘‘It just sort of happened, I guess. Through the couple of lifting competitions I did when I was CrossFitting I didn’t do too badly, and I’ve always picked sports where you have to work hard and there’s a lot of training and not a lof of competition.
‘‘I probably like the process of getting stronger.’’
Her personal best for the snatch was now 85kg, and 103kg for the clean and jerk, but it took a while to get there. It could take months to add just a kilogram or two onto those totals, and when it happened, it was exciting.
‘‘As time goes on it’s hard to hit the big gains,’’ she said.
Her goal in Vanuatu was to hit a New Zealand international grade, which was a 192kg total. But, just pulling on the New Zealand singlet for the second time would be exciting enough, even if the results didn’t go her way.
If she had her way, it wouldn’t be the last time, either. New Zealand only took two weightlifters to the last Olympics, so that wasn’t a realistic goal. The Commonwealth Games was though, and Whiting was on the long-list for the Gold Coast next year, but an injury which had been plaguing her this year meant she didn’t get the totals she needed. So her sights were set on 2022.
Hayley Whiting, 24, is a weightlifter who is about to represent New Zealand for the second time.