You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Lifters Patterson and Lambrechs off to Rio

NZN 27/06/2016

New Zealand weightlifter Richie Patterson has won selection for a record-equalling third Olympic Games, where he will be joined by debutante Tracey Lambrechs.

Commonwealth Games champion Patterson, 33, will be out to continue his Olympic improvement curve when he contests the 85kg class, having placed 21st at the 2008 Games in Beijing and 14th at London four years ago.

Lambrechs, who won a bronze medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, is in the women's over-75kg division.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee filled both its quota spots, earned at the recent Oceania championships in Fiji.

The only other Olympics to feature a New Zealand man and woman was in Sydney 16 years ago, through Nigel Avery and Olivia Baker.

Patterson joins Don Oliver as the second Kiwi lifter to compete at three Games. Oliver finished 13th, eighth and ninth at successive Games in the 1960s.

South Africa-born Lambrechs, 30, was delighted after narrowly missing selection four years ago.

"I'm feeling a mixture of relief, happiness and pride," she said.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to do what I love on one of the world's biggest sporting stages."

President of Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand Mike Reid says qualifying two lifters for Rio represents a significant step forward for the sport.

He stressed it took a solid all-round team performance in Fiji to earn the quota spots.

Patterson will compete on August 12 and Lambrechs two days later.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon