It's a hard road to Scotland

WHEN Jenna Myers finished her training lifts at Launceston PCYC the day before she flew off to the Commonwealth Games, our photographer asked if he could try to lift the same bar.

Tasmanian Commonwealth Games competitor Jenna Myers.

Tasmanian Commonwealth Games competitor Jenna Myers.

It was a gutsy request. It looked like the sort of unrealistic cartoon weight which Popeye holds aloft while eating spinach or pins Scratchy to the ground while Itchy ritually disembowels him.

Not only could our snapper not lift it, he couldn't even roll it.

And this was just a training lift. In competition against considerably larger rivals, Myers will have to lift much more above her head.

When the Kookaburras were in the process of demolishing host-nation The Netherlands 6-1 in the final of hockey's world cup last month, Eddie Ockenden led one particular attack.

It was thwarted on the edge of the opposition circle and the Dutch swiftly counter-attacked, switching the ball through their midfielders at pace and bursting into the Aussie circle where their attack was also ended by a perfectly-timed tackle . . . from Ockenden.

One of the secrets which has seen Craig Woods produce a steady stream of national champions out of his Latrobe Boxing Club has been his belief in sparring them against each other.

So when his nephew Jackson Woods takes on opponents in the 56kg bantamweight division in Glasgow, or Nick Cooney in the 60kg lightweight, they will have little fear, having many times gone toe-to-toe with the likes of 81kg clubmate Dylan Hardy.

vp+2However much Amy Cure may find herself trailing in any of her three events at the Sir Chris Hoy vp+3Velodrome, it will surely be just a fraction of the distance she has become accustomed to reeling in from her scratch mark at Tasmania's Christmas carnivals.

While many young athletes may fall into the trap of resting on their laurels as soon as they achieve selection to a major tournament, Hobart brothers Hamish and Huw Peacock wasted no time in immediately registering new personal best distances.

Tasmania's seven athletes at the Commonwealth Games, which begin tomorrow have had nothing handed to them on a plate.

Instead, they have demonstrated the age-old sporting cliche about hard work bringing success.

Chasing down a rival cyclist who has a 400-metre headstart, squaring up to a boxer 25kg heavier than you, lifting one-and-a-half times your own bodyweight and responding to a thwarted surge forward by sprinting back 60 metres to do the same to your opponents are the sort of challenges which make champions.

Hopefully, they will do just that over the next fortnight in Scotland.


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