Weightlifter is Vanuatu bound

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - ERIN TASKER

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.

JOHN KIRK-AN­DER­SON/STUFF

Hay­ley Whit­ing, 24, is a weightlifter who is about to rep­re­sent New Zealand for the sec­ond time.

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