Kari sets new record by breaking his own


Huacong Zhang © Mohamed Taha / olympics.com.au

WEIGHTLIFTING: A new Commonwealth Junior Record was set by Steven Kukuna Kari in the men’s 85kg event on Saturday.

Kari, from the Oceania team, broke the his own previous record of 184kg set in June 2012 with an impressive clean and jerk of 185kg, to the applause of the crowd.

“I was confident I was going to break it - 100%,” Kari said. “It was exciting.”

China’s Huacong Zhang finished on top winning gold with a total of 355kg, with a strong 195kg clean and jerk. Kari finished in second place with a total of 325kg followed by the bronze medallist Tao Tian from China on a total of 290kg.

Zhang said the competition was great practice for him.

“It was fantastic to win but I still haven’t performed at my best,” Zhang said.

“The weights were my normal weights that I use in training.”

Australian Liam Larkins and Jonathan Pakchung finished fifth and seventh respectively. Larkins finished with a total of 250kg and Pakchung finished on a solid 230kg.

“I’m woeful at my snatches so it’s pretty mixed emotions for me,” Larkins said.

“I didn’t attack it [the weight], I was a bit complacent.”

Larkins was pleased with his personal best total of 250kg but said he will learn from the experience.

“I was pleased with the PB, it’s a good to the year,” he said. “I’ll take away from the experience and learn to cope with the conditions.”

Meanwhile Pakchung said he felt really tired, and added that he was distracted for a drug test at the competition.

“It [drug test] turned me off my game,” Pakchung said. Drug testing is undertaken at the AYOF and is part of the process of teaching young athletes about the different commitments and potential distractions there can be at an international sporting event.

As for 19-year-old Kari, he is looking forward to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.

“This record is a result of hard training and I’ll need to push myself for Glasgow.”

Mohamed Taha
olympics.com.au

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