Story by Kenneth Tan/Red Sports
Jamie Wee sets a PB in the 58kg final. (Photo © SPH-SYOGOC/Chia Ti Yan)
Toa Payoh Sports Hall, Tuesday, August 17, 2010 — Singapore weightlifter Jamie Emma Wee put up a courageous performance in the Women’s 58kg final in front of weightlifting legend Tan Howe Liang as she finished eighth in a field of 10.
The 1960 Olympic silver medallist was present at Toa Payoh Sports Hall to watch the weightlifting competition.
The 17-year-old lifted a total of 115 kg, 10 kg more than her entry score. Jamie equalled her personal best (PB) of 52kg in the Snatch category and bettered her previous PB of 62kg by 1kg in the Clean & Jerk Category.
For Snatch, the weightlifter has to lift the barbell from the floor in one continuous movement. For Clean & Jerk, the weightlifter has to lift the weight onto the chest, then over the head.
In Jamie’s first Snatch attempt, she lifted 47 kg with little fuss. She attempted 52kg next but failed to register a score as she dropped the bar behind her head. In her third and final attempt, she tried the same weight load again and successfully lifted it after struggling initially, drawing loud cheers from the home crowd.
In the Clean & Jerk category, Jamie went for 60kg in her first attempt but found the weight to hard to handle as she tried in vain to lift the weight onto her chest and fell on her feet.
She went for the same weight load again in her next attempt and managed to complete the motion.
In her third and final attempt, Jamie decided to break into unchartered terrority – breaking her PB of 62kg. The crowd held their breath when she approached the platform attempting to lift 63kg. A huge roar came thereafter as she managed to lift it onto her chest and then over her head in style.
It was the direct contrast in mood for Egyptian weightlifter Mohamed Amal. After doing well in the Snatch (lifting 81kg in her second attempt), the 17-year-old failed in all three Clean & Jerk attempts to lift 97kg and fainted after the final attempt. As a result, she had to be carried off the platform by the Egytian officials.
The gold medal went down to a straight fight between Kazakhstan’s Zulfiya Chinshanlo and China’s Deng Wei.
For the Snatch, Zulfiya lifted 95kg while Deng Wei lifted 110kg. For the Clean & Jerk, Zulfiya lifted 130kg in her final attempt but it was not enough as the Chinese weightlifter lifted 132kg in her second attempt.
Despite failing to lift 137kg in her final attempt, Deng Wei’s total score of 242kg meant she edged past Zulfiya’s 225kg to clinch the gold medal. Nigeria’s Racheal Ekoshoria rounded up the podium with a bronze, lifting a total of 190kg.
Jamie Enna Wee appeared very satisfied after her performance.
“I feel awesome man!” she exclaimed. “My coach really encouraged me a lot. I was not expecting much (before the competition), I just want to do my PB for both categories. I did not do it for the Snatch but did it for Clean & Jerk. It was awesome although I only managed to beat it by only 1kg.”
When quizzed whether the presence of Tan Howe Liang in the stands gave her pressure, she responded. “No, instead it made me more motivated to perform. I also took a photo with him just now!”
She remained positive when asked about her future.
“I trained for about one year while for other countries they trained like five years plus. Singapore is no match for them now but in the future, I think we can still progress,” she said.
About 10 school mates came down to support Jamie in the stands. Among them was her schoolmates and her younger sister.
“She was previously a badminton player until she switched to weightlifting last year,” said younger sister Emilia Jalyn Wee.
When asked whether she and her family members were shocked when Jamie switched to the sport, she said, “No, actually all along she has been very into bodybuilding.”
“She’s just amazing!” exclaimed schoolmate Rachael Anne Das about her friend’s performance.