CrossFit queen claims weightlifting gold
Posted on 09/18/19 8:44 PM
An off day has left Tegan Napper disappointed in finishing out of the medal race in her 53kg class. Tia-Clair Toomey during the Women’s 58kg weight lifting competition at the Commonwealth Games
For nearly two weeks Tia-Clair Toomey put her grief on hold, desperately focusing on weightlifting in the hope she might win gold in memory of a cousin so suddenly lost.
The tears finally came on Friday night when the world’s fittest women proved she is also the strongest in the Commonwealth.
In an extraordinary performance featuring two personal bests, Toomey, the reigning CrossFit Games champion, won the women’s 58kg title at her maiden Games.
The 24-year-old held her nerve in a heart-stopping duel to pip Canadian favourite Tali Darsigny by 1kg on the Gold Coast.
She was confident and smiling as she lifted a PB snatch of 87kg and then a dramatic clean-and-jerk PB of 114kg to clinch a winning total of 201kg.
It was afterwards, when she finally allowed herself to reunite with family, that the bittersweet nature of her remarkable triumph began to sink in.
Toomey’s cousin Jade Dixson died suddenly in a car accident at the beginning of last week.
“She was there lifting that barbell with me … that was dedicated to her,” an emotional Toomey said.
The 17-year-old had been planning to watch Toomey compete, but was a passenger in a car that crashed into a tree on the Sunshine Coast.
“It was a lot of shock because it was quite a sudden accident and something no one in our family expected,” Toomey said.
“I haven’t actually had a chance to really grieve or process it because I had a job to do when I came here.
“Now, I guess when I see my family, and she’s not there, it’s pretty sad … she’ll always be in my heart.”
Toomey went toe to toe with Darsigny throughout and sat 1kg adrift following the snatch section.
But the Canadian’s best of 112kg on her final lift was only good enough for a combined 200kg.
Toomey upped the ante on her rival with each lift, comfortably conquering 107kg, then 111kg, before completing the required 114kg.
She said it was impossible to compare Commonwealth gold with her CrossFit crown.
“There is really no comparison because they’re so different,” she said.
“Winning the CrossFit Games was unbelievable, but winning it here in front of my home crowd on the platform was just spectacular.”
The result is a huge improvement on Toomey’s 14th-place finish at the Rio Olympics, only her third international weightlifting competition after the childhood track talent added the sport to her CrossFit repertoire.
And while it showed her she has the potential do something special at Tokyo 2020, the focus for now is defending her CrossFit crown.
“Of course I’d really love to be able to train hard and perform like that, if not better, at the Olympics.
“But my next focus is trying to in June go to the CrossFit Games again.”