CrossFit community supports Tia Clair Toomey’s Olympic debut performance
Much has been said about Australian Tia Clair Toomey’s first weightlifting experience at the Rio Olympics Games. Toomey was vilified by the Australian press, but the CrossFit community has comeback with support for the second Fittest Woman on Earth at the recent CrossFit Games in June.
The 23-year old lass opened her debut Olympic for Australia, looking confident and lifting 82kg in the Snatch but missed out on 112kg in the Clean and Jerk. The 112kg clean and jerk evaded all but one competitor, who nailed it on her third and final attempt.
“A little bit (tough), I don’t know what it was. Maybe just some nerves which, there are always nerves, so I don’t really actually know what happened. I think that my right side is definitely stronger than my left, it’s definitely something that I’ve tried to work on, but I think there are a few factors there,” said Toomey on her Olympic experience.
Toomey found CrossFit in 2013 and weightlifting about six months later, and revealed that she started weightlifting to get better at CrossFit and wouldn’t be going to Rio if not for the Sport of Fitness.
She earned her spot in the Olympics, as explained clearly by the Australian Weightlifting Federation (AWF):
“Tia-Clair Toomey, has also been nominated to be Australia’s only female weightlifter as a result of strong performances at the 2015 Australian Open and 2016 Oceania Championships placing her as #1 on the women’s qualification table.”
Contrary to popular belief that this CrossFit athlete robbed full-time weightlifters of an Olympic spot, Toomey beat the other lifters in her country at their own game. Vice versa, other weightlifters would not be able to participate in the biggest CrossFit event of the world and win a runner-up spot two years in a row.
As an example, 2008 Olympic silver medalist Oxana Slivenko—also a former snatch world-record holder—competed in the Europe/Meridian Regional three times between 2013 and 2015 and did not qualify for the CrossFit Games. In 2016, she failed to qualify for the regional as an individual.
The AWF article is careful to point out that Olympic berths hinge on team performance in a qualifying event, and it turns out two-time CrossFit Games athlete Pip Malone was one of the seven athletes who helped Australia secure a spot in the women’s competition in Rio.
One third of the Australian team has CrossFit Games experience and indeed, CrossFit-trained athletes have improved the weightlifting scene in Australian.
The public shouldn’t be overly concerned about Toomey missing out on her personal records (PR), as they should know that athletes do not go to a competition to beat their PRs. Additionally, had Toomey made the lift, she would have equaled the current Australian record for the clean and jerk in the 58-kg weight class. As it stands, Toomey has clean-and-jerked 111 kg—better than all but one other 58-kg lifter in the nation.
If anyone would rather a full-time weightlifter represent Australia at the next Olympics, they need only do one thing: beat her.
Source: CrossFit.com and Australia Olympic Team