The National Club Competition was according to some spectators and lifters, the most exciting weightlifting competition in years. It went down to the final lift of the competition to decide who won and then four hours later, there was a dramatic plot twist after the competition finished when it was discovered that an officiating mistake had taken place: one more kilo was actually needed for the win.
I brought my scales along with me and I was under 95kg the night before and I was 94kg that morning so I was able to have a light breakfast of some salmon with some lemon juice. I weighed in at 93.6kg and this was very comfortable as I simply restricted my water the previous day after over-hydrating the three days before it.
In our team, Wayne lifted first in the 69's and after missing his opener with 95kg, he nailed it and then 98kg quite easily and started looking like he had just woken up. He then Jerked 120, 125 and 127 for a gutsy performance considering he had trained around seven or eight times in the last five weeks for this competition. For team UL, Cathal lifted and made his opener of 105kg on his last attempt. The word fresh was not in his vocabulary that day because he is gearing up for the U 23's in Poland. He Jerked 135 in his opener and his knee was bothering him with 140 so he left it there, saving himself for two weeks' time.
The Herc's girls then duelled with the Leinster ladies and all six lifters did extremely well with the Herc's girls just about winning out. Sami and Murph lifted in the 85's then for the Herc's and UL teams respectively. Due to an issue with his back, Sami could only train once that week and he lifted 95/118 making his second attempts both times. Murph has had a knee injury since Scotland and he got 93/117kg. UL were 14 points ahead in the team event and I was lifting against Eamonn in the final session at around half four. My heart had been racing since 11 that morning so it felt great to be able to start my warm up and relax.
My warm up went fine. The body had been primed to lift for hours so there was no stiffness or any other kinks that needed to be worked out. After 25 minutes, my final warm ups were 97 and 102kg. I was feeling good for my opener with 105kg which went smoothly, but it was not as fast as I would have wanted. Eamonn had lifted 99kg so I needed to scrape back as many points as I could. I then went up to 110kg for my second attempt and I pulled it strongly, but had to take a few steps forward to lock it in. I felt very confident for my third attempt of 113kg, but I missed it. It was high enough, but slightly out in front and I lacked that last inch of finish in my pull to get the bar into position. This was annoying, but I started focusing on the Clean and Jerks and if I found myself thinking about the Snatch, I gave myself a mental slap on the side of the head to keep focused on what was ahead of me.
I felt very fast in the Clean and Jerk and all my warm ups were good except for 120kg which I under pulled. My last lift in the back room was 128kg and I nailed it. I opened up with 135kg and it was smooth and assured. Eamonn then lifted 137kg, so Harry went to 139 to counter. I Cleaned it nicely, but pressed out the Jerk. This was very silly, because the weight was fine, I was simply not fast enough with my drive and lockout in the Jerk. I was obviously focusing on my third and final lift. Eamonn then Cleaned 139 and missed the Jerk. Harry was told we needed for 141kg for the win in the Club Championship, so take it we did. This was the last lift of the day and I had around five lads coming in to give me advice. The club had not won this title in 30 years. Harry booted them out and got me ready. I took the full minute and lifted off with around five seconds to go. I Cleaned it, and then Jerked the hell out of it and lost my head with a few others for around a minute. I had never lifted under those circumstances before and the relief was far more prevelant than anything else.
Later that night we found out that an official had put Sami down for Clean and Jerking 120, when he lifted 118. I would have needed 142kg for the win. One sinclair point was the difference. Gutting. We are all human though; the official responsible appologised later and although it still rankled, it is not the end of the world. I had lifted one kilo more than my best previous total and I weighed in 3.5kg lighter, so although I did not lift what I wanted, I was content. The lads in the UL team did really well to win their third team title in a row. Next years competition will be all the more exciting for this.
A video will follow of some of the lifts later today.