The Australian Weightlifting Federation congratulates Simplice Ribouem on his outstanding Olympic debut in Rio.

Ribouem had to overcome many obstacles on his way to Olympic selection, including battling a debilitating illness throughout 2015 which severely restricted his ability to compete.

“Simplice showed enormous grit and determination to earn his place on the Olympic weightlifting team,” AWF High Performance Manager, Jacquie White, said.

“And having worked so hard to get to the Olympics, Simplice performed incredibly well in Rio. We are all enormously proud of what he was able to achieve.”

“He pulled out a fantastic third attempt to equal his personal best snatch. Unfortunately he was a little inhibited by pain in the clean & jerk and was unable to repeat the feat.”

The AWF is excited about the future of weightlifting in Australia, with several major events coming to our shores, and plenty of competition for places in the Olympic team for Tokyo.

“In the next two years the Gold Coast will host the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships and the Commonwealth Games,” AWF CEO Mike Keelan said.

“These events will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase our sport, and should provide the impetus for more young athletes to give it a go.

“The inspiring performances of our two Olympic athletes, Tia-Clair Toomey and Simplice Ribouem, should also serve as an example to all weightlifters of what you can achieve if you work really hard.”

Toomey and Ribouem in action at the 2016 Oceania Championships