More gold, silver for weightlifter

Mona Pretorius continues to impress in the international weightlifing arena
Mona Pretorius continues to impress in the international weightlifing arena

South African weightlifting star Mona Pretorius, formerly of Port Elizabeth, added more embellishments to her already packed medal cabinet as she claimed three golds and a silver at two international weightlifting competitions recently.

Competing in the under69kg class at the African Senior Continental Championships, Pretorius posted a lift of 82kg in the snatch to claim silver before going on to deliver a lift of 112kg in the clean and jerk to win gold.

Her total of 194kg was also enough to earn her the overall gold medal in both the senior championships and the Mauritian Open Senior Weightlifting Championships.

Pretorius said the results indicated where she was as she began her preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“”I am very happy with my results. The total I lifted was the exact total I needed to win.

“This was my warm-up competition for the world championships in November, and now my preparations get under way as I look towards the Olympic Games in two years,” she said.

Pretorius, who claimed a bronze medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games earlier this year, said she would need to compete in six international competitions in the period leading up to the Olympics.

“It was amazing seeing my dad again.

“This was an opportunity for us to work together on the international stage as he was the Team South Africa coach.

“It really motivated me to have him there because he has been involved in my training for the best part of two decades,” she said.

Her father, Pieter Pretorius, said he and Mona had decided to go up a weight class from 63kg to 69kg as it offered her some tougher opposition.

He said all the travelling had taken its toll on her, causing her to struggle a bit in the snatch.

“Mona went into the clean and jerk 4kg behind Emmanuela Labonne from Mauritius. I called on her to dig deep and so she did, securing victory.”

Pieter said this was Mona’s first training block and a sixweek training camp in Bulgaria was also on the cards before she headed to the world championships in Turkmenistan, which will be the first of six international events she will need to compete in to qualify for the Tokyo Games.