The 2019 Arnold Weightlifting Classic was held at the Sandton Convention Centre in the Main Exhibition Hall and the Gauteng Weightlifting Association had the great opportunity of organising the event!
Friday the 17th of July marked the official start of the Arnold Classic Africa weekend. We began with the Development Camp for our youngest lifters, organised by our Development Officer Khati Mabuya – this was certainly one of the highlights of the weekend. Vuyani Mashego, Khati Mabuya, Katleho Mabuya, Siyabonga Nkabinde, Puleng Makurube and, our very special guest and internationally recognised weightlifter from Cameroon, Jean-Baptiste Ketchanke, all lent their hands in coaching during the afternoon.
Kicking things off on Saturday the 18th, we had the Youth and Juniors who competed in the Youth & Junior Gauteng Championship, followed by our lighter ladies’ categories – 45kgs, 49kgs, 55kgs, 59kgs and 64kgs and finally to end the day off, the lighter male lifters in the 55kg, 61kg, 67kg and 73kg categories. Notably, Anneke Spies in the 59kg category, and Lize Nel in the 64kg category each obtained snatch, clean & jerk and total records, while a new Gauteng record snatch was set by Khati Mabuya for the 73kg category.
Sunday began with the men’s 81kgs and 89kgs weight categories. These lifters put on the show of their lives as we were graced by the presence of none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, who stood up front and centre to cheer on the lifters and get in on the action. Greggory Bernstein and Vuyani Mashego, competing in the 81kg and 89kg categories, respectively, each set new Gauteng snatch, clean & jerk and total records during their flight.
The second session of the day was the last flight of female weightlifters for the 71kg, 76kg, 81kg, 87kg and +87kg weight categories. Our biggest totals of the session came from 71kg lifter Genevieve Du Toit and from 87kg+ lifter Caileigh Dade.
Finally, the flight that concluded the whole competition weekend was our heavier male lifters, including the weight categories of 96kgs, 102kgs, 109kgs and 109kgs+. Setting new Gauteng records for the snatch, clean & jerk and total were Evan Staley for the 109kg body weight category and Gordon Shaw, lifting in the 109kg+ category.
Entertaining the crowd with their big personalities during the entire weekend, we thank our announcers Vuyani Mashego, Martin Venter and Campbell Easton.
With all the help we received, we can proudly say we had the most successful, professional and smoothly run Arnold Classic Competition to date. Thank you to everyone who set aside the time to help out!
An extra special thanks goes to our internationally accredited Referees of the weekend, including:
- Khati Mabuya of South Africa,
- Dudu Motsa of Swaziland,
- Horst of Swaziland,
- Puleng Makurube of South Africa, and
- Pieter Pretorius of South Africa.
Finally, to the lady who really pulled out all the stops with the entire competition set up, layout and technical arrangements, the whole competition would not have been possible without Caroline Wolf of Barbell 1610. We thank you for all your hard work and impeccable organisation!