HomeWeightliftingJOA backs weightlifting to make 2028 Olympic resurgence

JOA backs weightlifting to make 2028 Olympic resurgence

THE JAMAICA Olympic Association (JOA) and the Jamaica Weightlifting Federation (JWF) are pounding the pavement for the local sport to make an appearance in Los Angeles on the Olympic stage for the first time in what will be 40 years.

Thirty-six years ago at the Moscow Olympic Games in 1988, Jamaica’s Calvin Stamp represented the country.

In 2019, when the JWF was admitted to the JOA, re-creating the history of 1988 became of paramount importance.

The JOA and the JWF met recently with the JOA to give a progress report including strategic plans for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

JWF President, Dr Mark Broomfield, in acknowledging the continued financial support of JOA, said: “Following the very creditable performances of our lifters at the recent IWF World Cup in Thailand and USA Invitation in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Jamaica Weightlifting Federation continues to aggressively focus on talent recruitment as part of our four-year strategic development plan which will see us taking the sport to the people with pop-ups in town centres, visits to high schools, exhibitions at national sporting events with Champs in mind and demonstrations at our defence and police forces. The future for LA looks bright and thanks to the JOA.”

National representative, Omarie Mears, who placed fourth overall in the 81kg class at the World Cup in Thailand, currently the highest position a Jamaican has achieved in an international competition, said “it was a great meeting with the JOA to discuss the development of weightlifting. The competitions we attended went really well and it is a great opportunity for our federation to be represented in these events. Later this year, we have the World Championships to aim towards and build on the performances and development of the federation.”

Local weightlifter Soneil Ellington is inspired by his recent achievements.

“My progress has been nothing short of impressive since I have realised that I have the ability to do well. While competing at the 2023 CAC Games, I finished sixth. I put all my efforts into my craft. This growth over the last eight months resulted in the birth of a whole new athlete which was on showcase in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I won my weight class +109kg, hitting a personal best,” said Ellington.

Meanwhile, Ellington’s colleague, James Daley, was also optimistic.

“Over the last month we competed in Phucket, Thailand, at the IWF World Cup and the Charlotte Open in the USA. Both competitions went very well with respectable results for Jamaica in both. I managed eighth in the 96kg A group then went on to get a lifetime personal record total in the Charlotte Open of 258kg. It’s been a great time for Jamaican weightlifting,” he said.

JOA president, Christopher Samuda, and secretary general, Ryan Foster, are motivated by the aspirations of the national lifters.

“I like what I’m seeing. It’s serious business and a big man ‘ting and the JOA will continue to invest in our lifters as they ‘man up’ and ‘woman up’ in raising the bar for that Olympic gold,” said Samuda.

“We are taking some of that financial weight off their shoulders so that it doesn’t become a burden and weighs down their aspirations which are on fire for LA,” said Foster.

Ellington sums up the partnership with the governing apex body and gives a perspective of the future.

“The best part of talking with the JOA is that I enjoy the forward thinking. The focus on the future and the mentality to get the job done. The meetings have been great as they have given us some hope that things will be solid going forward and that we will be supported to get the job done.”

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