Eileen Cikamatana lead Australian weightlifting line-ups for Birmingham


Australia’s Eileen Cikamatana and Hannah Powell of Wales headline the two countries’ weightlifting squads as their teams have been announced for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

At 22 years old, Cikamatana is the youngest weightlifter in Australia’s Birmingham 2022 delegation, but she could become the first woman in history to win Commonwealth Games gold for two different countries in individual events.

She claimed gold for Fiji in the 90 kilograms class at Gold Coast 2018 and is among an 11-strong Australian team.

Cikamatana has represented Australia since 2019 after she was snubbed at the Fiji sports awards following her gold medal performance at the Games.

“To get that opportunity to represent another country, especially Australia, where you get respected for what you do, it is a dream come true,” Cikamatana said.

Charisma Amoe-Tarrant moved to Australia in 2012 but has represented Nauru, winning a silver medal at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in the over-90kg class but has been selected for Australia after switching allegiance, while Ridge Barredo finished eighth in the 105kg class four years ago and has also been chosen.

There are seven Commonwealth Games debutants on the 2022 weightlifting team.

Among them are former sprinter and bobsledder Ebony Gorincu from Queensland and Western Australian Royal Australian Navy instructor Suamili Nanai.

Brandon Wakeling finished seventh in the 69kg class at Gold Coast 2018 but has his sights set on glory in Birmingham after making the cut.

Also making their Commonwealth Games debuts are Kyle Bruce, Jackson Young, Sarah Cochrane, Kiana Elliott and Brenna Kean.

Joining British champion Powell on the Wales weightlifting squad is Christie Marie Williams who is set to make her third Commonwealth Games appearance.

Williams was at Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018 and was the most-experienced athlete out of Wales’ seven weightlifters.

Commonwealth Youth Games medallists Catrin Jones and Jordon Sakkas make up the rest of the team alongside Faye Pitman, Amy Salt and Michael Farmer.

The weightlifting competition is scheduled to take place in Birmingham’s NEC Arena from 30 July to 03 August.