LEORA Yates trained hard, had a plan, and executed it perfectly in Barcelona.
The result for the 42-year-old mother of three from Melbourne was truly outstanding – a gold medal for Australia at the 2018 International Weightlifting Federation’s Masters World Championships late last month.
Yates switched from Crossfit to weightlifting only a few years ago but quickly rose through the ranks, breaking a female world record in her 40-45 age group and 75-90kg body weight division earlier this year at the Australian and Oceania Masters Championships.
In Barcelona, she took an early 4kg lead when lifting 77kg in the snatch and increased that lead by another 6kg by clearing 90kg in the clean and jerk to win gold ahead of runner-up from Hungary, Katinka Bodis-Szabo.
Yates, who is part of TG Strength Melbourne East, focused on achieving solid results to keep in front of her four main competitors rather than aim for a personal best lift.
She hopes her achievements in the sport can change perceptions about body image by women, “to show them that women can be strong and that strength in women is a good thing”.