Veteran Kelly challenges Games young guns
Posted on 04/25/20 7:45 PM
Weightlifter Damon Kelly hopes experience will give him the edge in Monday’s 105kg-plus showdown.Veteran n weightlifter Damon Kelly is banking on experience to usurp the young giants standing between him and a gold medal at his swansong Commonwealth Games.
Failing that, he’ll settle for a Steven Bradbury moment.
Kelly’s super-heavyweight showdown on Monday night will likely be the last for the long-serving 34-year-old who won gold at Delhi 2010, silver at Melbourne 2006 and bronze at Glasgow 2014.
And the bearded 150kg colossus would go out with a bang if he had his way.
But he’ll have to lift a whole lot more than that to outdo the best in the 105kg-plus field.
Samoan Lautiti Lui, Pakistan’s Muhammad Butt, India’s Gurdeep Singh and Kiwi David Liti are all aged 22 or under but have been hoisting combined totals of at least 15kg more than Kelly.
The Brisbane-based father of three is just hoping his extra decade of experience offers a mental edge.
“I know in terms of weights I’m probably behind the top guys, but I just want to lift well and put pressure on them,” Kelly told AAP.
“I’ve got the experience and the younger guys in the top ranks, it’ll be their first Games.
“I’d love to be competitive and a shot for a medal … or even pull off a Bradbury-type win.
“I’ve seen lots of funny things happen on the day so I’ve just got to be there ready to compete.”
Kelly’s mantra is “you versus the bar” – his key to blocking out the distraction of rivals.
But he might spare a thought for his wife and three sons under five who’ll be part of his hometown crowd.
“Mostly likely this will be my last comp, but never say never,” he said.
“I’ll get through next week and enjoy it then see what happens.
“It would be good to spend a bit more time at home with the boys and wife.”