In accordance with the International Weightlifting Federation Qualification System individuals can only contest the Olympic Games through the combined efforts of their national team mates who must earn enough placing points to ensure the team finishes 1st – 5th in the men’s qualifying event and 1st-4th in the women’s qualifying event.
Thanks to the performances and selfless efforts of male team members Frank Elliott, Francois Etoundi, Malek Chamoun, Mitch Delbridge, Liam Larkins, Simplice Ribouem, Ridge Barredo and Damon Kelly our team finished in second place.
Our female team comprised of Erika Ropati-Frost, Seen Lee, Tia-Clair Toomey, Pip Malone, Kiana Elliott, Camilla Fogagnolo and Jenna Myers finished 1st.
Stemming from these team results, Simplice Ribouem is set to be Australia’s sole male weightlifter at the Rio OlympicsOlympic Games, after finishing on top of the AWF/AOC qualification ladder following the conclusion of the AWF’s last qualifying event that was conducted in Fiji.
Tia-Clair Toomey, has also been nominated to be Australia’s only female weightlifter as a result of strong performances at the 2015 Australian Open and 2016 Oceania Championships placing her as #1 on the women’s qualification table.
Ribouem, who won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and an unlucky silver four years later in Glasgow, shot to the top of the selection table with an eye-catching performance at December’s Australian Open.
Toomey also shot to prominence at the Australian Open, shattering her previous personal best to leapfrog Ropati-Frost in the selection race.
The 22-year-old from Gladstone only started weightlifting seriously 18 months ago, and had been juggling her cross-fit and weightlifting careers.
Ribouem, who lifted for Cameroon at the 2006 Commonwealth Games before seeking asylum in Australia, also overcame great odds to earn his Olympic nomination.
He spent 2015 battling malaria, with the December Australian Open the first time he had lifted even close to full fitness in more than a year.