15/04/2024
Erika Yamasaki joins the five member Australian Weightlifting Team at Tokyo 2020

Erika Yamasaki joins the five member Australian Weightlifting Team at Tokyo 2020 Photo: Australian Olympic Committee/Scott Halleran

The Australian Weightlifting team was announced on Tuesday, welcoming five Olympic debuts to Tokyo.

The five member weightlifting team will be Australia’s largest since Sydney 2000, with the team being announced in Brisbane today.

Each member will be making their Olympic debut in Tokyo, this includes Brandon Wakeling who is just the second Indigenous Australian to lift at the Olympics.

“It’s an honour to be able to continue the line of Indigenous representation in the sport of weightlifting,” Wakeling said.

“In being the second indigenous Australian to lift for Australia at the Olympics, I am very much looking forward to seeing that number grow in the years to come.

“My family has been following closely to my journey to Tokyo since the first Olympic qualifying competition at the end of 2018.

“It’s been a very long qualifying period, with many highs and lows involved and my family are so proud to see me live out my Olympic dream.”

33-year-old Erika Yamasaki is the best of the best amongst the Australian women, holding 15 national records over two decades of elite competition and is the only Australian woman to clean and jerk her body weight. Yamasaki was overjoyed by the announcement, setting the Tokyo Games as an important goal in 2013.

“I have always dreamed about going to the Olympics,” Yamasaki said.

“I feel like I will be representing everything I believe in – not only the 21 years I have been in the sport, but everyone who has been a part of my journey, my coaches, my club, my state, and especially my family. We did it!!”

“My dad was born and raised in Yonago, a prefecture in Tottori along the west coast of Japan. I feel right at home whenever I am in Japan – Japan is me! And really, my Olympic dream blossomed from a seed my dad planted in my head as a kid!

“When Japan was first announced in 2013 as the host nation, I always wanted that to be the Olympics I could make but laughed as I thought I would be too old.

“After missing out in Rio I thought my chance of ever going to an Olympics was over – but here I am and I get to represent Australia in Tokyo! It all just feels like it was meant to be.”

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CEO of the Australian Weightlifting Federation Ian Moir welcomed the long awaited announcement.

“The qualification process for these Games began more than two and a half years ago, and there have been a few twists and turns over that time, and a great deal of uncertainty,” Mr Moir said.

“Now we’re here, at the final selection and Australian Weightlifting is so very proud of each and every one of these athletes. We can’t wait to see them on the platform in Tokyo.”

AthleteEvent
Erika YamasakiWomen 59kg
Kiana ElliottWomen 64kg
Charisma Amoe-TarrantWomen +87kg
Brandon WakelingMen 73kg
Matthew LydementMen +109kg

All the weightlifting will take place at the Tokyo International Forum, beginning on July 24th with the women’s 49kg and ending on August 4th with the men’s 109kg+.

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