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Pretorius pushes the limits at World Championships
- Updated: December 7, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
A three-time member of Team South Africa at the Commonwealth Games, weightlifter Mona Pretorius has set a new benchmark after an uplifting performance at the recent World Championships in Houston, Texas.
After setting new South African records at a pre-championships event in the US, there’s no doubting Pretorius was prepared.
She told Road to Rio 2016: ‘I broke three South african senior records and got six out of six lifts in the Under-63 kilogram category with a 90kg snatch and a 112kg clean and jerk, a life time personal best of 202kg as well and now I’m looking at preparing for next year’s Olympics.’
The U63 category is the same category she’ll be lifting in if she gets to the Olympics.
The only South African to qualify for the champs it was a huge event, coming less than a year before Rio 2016 and with many points up for grabs for qualification.
On the competition itself, held at the George Brown Convention Centre, the Port Elizabeth lifter said: ‘The vibe was something amazing and just being around all these focused athletes definitely created the performance vibe and so many world record were broken as well.’
Pretorius, who has been lifting for 15 years now, took a different approach to these championships, indeed, to all her 2015 events. ‘Its so important to listen to your body but also to do it because of the love of the game. Always being very nervous on my first attempt on the main platform I can say that I walked on loving what I do. All the hard work just came together and it was a priceless feeling to get PBs on the main platform at worlds with a massive crowd and hitting six out of six lifts, a very big thing for weightlifters because that rarely happens.’
Onwards and upwards and what’s next for the power nugget? ‘I want to get a 210kg total and also to go to Olympics, stay healthy and keep loving what I do.’
She also intends continuing to work closely with US based trainer Dutch Lowy.
‘I’ll maybe do some CrossFit competitions in the beginning of year depending if its in our plan (coach Dutch and I). I won the CrossFit South African Open last year, being the fittest in South Africa and that might be a title I would go for again.’
‘We also have the Arnold Classic next year which is a big event and I’m also hoping to be able to get a financial sponsor or raise funds to prep with coach again in the States. Being an athlete and realising how important it is to be able to work with your coach is a huge must when you want to compete at the highest level in sport.’