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Five rookie weightlifters off to nationals

QUALIFIERS: Shane Orr, Sean O’Neil, Emma Zawila and Dave Capill all won medals at the Queensland Weightlifting Championships and are off to the nationals.
QUALIFIERS: Shane Orr, Sean O’Neil, Emma Zawila and Dave Capill all won medals at the Queensland Weightlifting Championships and are off to the nationals. Jake Jones

FIVE weightlifters from Gladstone CrossFit's program are preparing for the national championships only six months after the gym got involved with the sport.

Winning the chance to head to Melbourne for the high-level tournament in a variety of ways, the five Gladstone products are now knuckling down to making sure they are at their peak come the end of November, when the championships take place.

Three of the weightlifters earnt their place at the national level in Brisbane's state championships recently, bringing home two silver medals and a bronze, an indication of how successful the program could become.

Shane Orr, Dave Capill and Sean O'Neil are all Melbourne-bound, a surprise for Capill and O'Neil who are new on the weightlifting scene.

"I was confident of medalling at states, I was very close to getting gold too," Capill said.

"I am now ranked in the top seven, so to get (on) the podium would be great, I would like to get 95kg snatch and 128kg clean and jerk.

Like his mate, O'Neil only began taking the sport seriously six months ago, and the rapid improvement has been a shock to the system.

Taking it all in and also aiming for a podium finish, O'Neil's message is much more about drawing new people to the sport than individual success.

"People see it on the Olympics but don't realise everyday people can do it," he said.

"I encourage people to try it out."

Orr and fellow qualifier Tia Toomey have been in the sport for some time.

The biggest achiever for the Gladstone team is possibly Emma Zawila, who recently won the right to call herself the National under-17 champion.

Chasing more success in the junior segment of the nationals, the talented lifter doesn't know what to expect, but is aiming to do her best.

"I am hoping for a medal, however I have tough competition being one of the youngest competing, it will be a tough competition," she said.

The five weightlifters will be in Melbourne for the Nationals which are scheduled for November 28 and 29.

Topics:  gladstone sport national titles weightlifting