Deb's bound for Beijing

By David Lems

THE excited text message simply read: "I'm going to the Olympics baby. Did 252kg and won."

That summed up proud Ipswich weightlifter Deborah Lovely perfectly.

Wherever she competes around Australia or overseas Lovely's thoughts are never far from home.

After Saturday's record-breaking effort at the Olympic trials in Melbourne, Lovely secured the only women's spot on the Australian weightlifting team headed for Beijing in August.

"It was amazing," Lovely, 24, said yesterday.

"I've got to admit I was a little bit nervous.

"I really had to come out and prove myself. It was a do-or-die situation."

The 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist received valuable support from a big Queensland contingent including her Riverview-based family, fianc? Joshua Acason and her training partner Amanda Phillips.

Competing at the Victorian Weightlifting Centre where she trained for the 2006 Games, Lovely totalled a winning 252kg from her best snatch, and clean and jerk lifts.

On her first snatch lift, she comfortably raised 108kg.

But after failing to raise the bar on her rushed second lift, she took a deep breath and refocused.

The Queensland Times Sportstar for February then lifted a personal best and national record 112kg to keep her Olympic hopes alive.

Needing 140kg in the clean and jerk to complete her Olympic qualification, Lovely raised an Australian record 132kg on her first attempt.

She then easily pushed 140kg above her head.

"When I came out to lift it, I had to actually tell myself 'this is it, this is the Olympics' and pump myself up," she said.

"It was excellent. It was the first time I've actually had my legs feeling fresh for about six months."

Lovely opted against a third clean and jerk lift despite being happy with her fitness.

"That felt really, really easy," she said.

"That's all I had to do and I don't want to risk injury or anything."

The Griffith University student is spending a week with her fianc? before a criminology exam on Saturday and the start of heavy Olympic training.

Lovely is the second regional sportsperson off to Beijing. Springfield Lakes softballer Tracey Mosley made the Australian team in April.



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