Nina Sterckx managed to lose more than 5 kg in the past three weeks, so she could participate in the World Powerlifting Championships in Colombia in the up to 49 kg category last night. The 20-year-old Belgian finished sixth with a total of 193kg (89kg for the snatch and 104kg for the clean jerk). But there could have been more, because the jury pulled a punch weighing 109 kg, among other things.
Sterckx is the reigning Junior World Champion and became European Junior Champion in mid-October and Belgian Elite Champion in mid-November. She did it in the up to 55kg class, but since that class is not on the Paris 2024 Olympic program, she chose the upto 49kg class.
She followed a strict diet for weeks, combined with sauna sessions, which brought her up to 48.80 kg at her weigh-in in Bogota. The first task was completed, albeit with some stress over the past week.
The second, of course, was weightlifting. The question was how Sterckx’s body would react to the fewer kilos, and what it would do to her energy and strength.
Big progress compared to the Tokyo Games
Where Strix pulled 92kg and 115kg at BK last month and made it to 95kg and 118kg at the European Junior Championships, she came in Bogota at 89kg and 104kg. It is completely normal for you to gain fewer kilos in the lower weight category.
To point to her progress: Last year at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, 18-year-old Strix weighed 81kg 99kg, good for fifth place. Her Belgian records at -49kg until yesterday were 83kg, 99kg and 180kg total.
There were 37 participants. Each of them got 3 chances in snatch and 3 chances in clean and jerk. Sterckx improved each time in the snatch: 84, 88 and 89 kg. On that last try, I was thrilled that it worked. (See image below table).
“At the time it was good for the bronze,” coach Bieke Vandenabeele explained. But the Romanian athlete continued to gain a kilogram and stole the medal from Nina. She came in fourth place.
Nina has improved by 13 kg, which is quite a lot. We are very proud of her, but it is a pity that that 109kg punch was rejected. Hopefully luck will be on our side next time
In the jerk, she finished seventh: “We started with 104 kilos safely until we put first and foremost a good total for the Olympic standings. For the second attempt we went up by 5 kilos to 109, but due to a technical error Nina didn’t put the bell on her shoulders.” .
“On her last attempt, she hit 109 kg over her head. The attempt was approved by the judges, but the jury passed the turn. They saw a small bounce in her elbows. That’s how she saw the bronze medal in slip completely through her fingers.”
“This dropped Nina to 6th place, which gave her 5th place in the Olympic standings, because only 1 from each country is allowed to soar.”
After all, there were two Chinese ladies on the stage. The gold medal was for 24-year-old Huihua Jiang with 206 kg (93 + 113), the silver for 28-year-old Chanu Saikum Mirabai of India with 200 kg (87 + 113), the bronze for 25-year-old Zhihui with 198 kg (89 + 109).
Despite the setback, Vandenabell looks back very positively: “Nina has improved her total weight by 13kg. From 180kg on OS to 193kg. We are very satisfied with this. We are also very proud of what Nina has done.”
“13kg is a really big improvement and only 1kg less than the bronze in the Tokyo Games. But it hurts to turn down 109kg. Hopefully luck will be on our side next time.”
|Score WC -49 kg:||Withdrawal. tighten||punches||the total|
|1.||Huihua Jiang (Chen)||93||113||206|
|2.||Chanu Saikum Mirabai (India)||87||113||200|
|4.||Mihaela Valentina Campi (RU)||90||104||194|
|5.||Hayley Marie Reichart (USA)||84||110||194|
|7.||Jordan Elizabeth Delacroze (USA)||86||105||191|
|8.||Natasha Rosa Figueiredo (bra)||83||104||187|
For clarification: in pull (grab) Dumbbells are raised above the head in a smooth movement with straightened arms. In the pay (clean and jerk) The barbell is first raised to shoulder height along the squat, after which the barbell is pushed up at once with straight arms.
Pictures of the winner:
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