Myers out to lift game for medal

 Jenna Myers is off to  the Commonwealth Games.
Jenna Myers is off to the Commonwealth Games.

AMONG the photographs recording Jenna Myers's previous Commonwealth Games experience is one of her with a weight equivalent to a 250cc motorbike above her head and a smile as wide as the bar on her face.

While many might wonder how she could look so happy in a moment of such stress, Myers says it's the complete opposite.

``That's a moment of complete elation,'' she said.

``When you've lifted the weight it's just total relief. You feel so proud at that moment.

``That's when all the training and hard work and sacrifice makes it worthwhile. You are enjoying it. That's why you smile.''

Myers has good reason to hope she will be smiling again at her second Commonwealth Games later this month.

Controversially denied the chance to compete at Melbourne in 2006 and the London Olympics six years later, her sole previous experience at a multisport event was in Delhi four years ago when her campaign was derailed by administrative bungles and computer failures.

The 28-year-old's career highlight remains when she was the best-placed Australian at the 2011 world championships in Paris, but Myers knows she will need to break new territory in Glasgow.

Less than a year after surgery, the extra body weight she needs to support both shoulder joints has forced her to move from her usual maximum of 75 kilograms to the open division, meaning she will be competing against rivals weighing well over 100kg.

In the 75kg+ division which she will tackle for the first time at a major event, Myers has personal best lifts of a 103kg snatch and 125kg clean and jerk.

That 228kg total would have placed her fifth at the last Commonwealth Games, won by Ele Opeloge with a 285kg total.

The Samoan was also the only Commonwealth athlete in the top 10 at the London Olympics where she finished sixth with a 267kg total.

At the time she weighed 125kg. Myers expects to compete in Glasgow at a weight of around 80kg.

However, the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife ranger is not afraid to step out of her comfort zone.

``She is snatching more than I can clean and jerk so I'm sure she will be in gold medal contention while the Indians are quite strong, so are the Nigerians and [fellow Aussie] Deborah Acason should fair quite well - I hope she can get a bronze!

``So I may have to lift a little bit more than my PB for a medal, but it's not really daunting because I don't have to focus on my weight as much although I do want to come back down to 75kg in the future.

``With a consistent build-up, I can be competitive.''

The format of the competition at Glasgow's SECC Precinct on Friday, July 30, will give competitors three attempts at the snatch, followed by a short break and then three attempts at the clean and jerk, after which the combined total gives overall placings.

Myers probably faces the most formidable task of the seven Tasmanians competing in Scotland but, having overcome so many obstacles to qualify, is keeping a relaxed approach about her mission in the country.

``I've just got to make my time on the platform worthwhile and ensure I stay focused,'' she said.

``I'll be over there for three weeks beforehand so that should be enough time to get used to the sun.''


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