Charisma Amoe-Tarrant, Australia’s strongest woman, says her super-heavyweight weightlifting medal can be celebrated by both her country of choice and of her birth, Nauru, after winning bronze at the Commonwealth Games.
The Tokyo Olympian, who won silver for the small Pacific Island nation at the Gold Coast four years ago, finished third in a dramatic session at Birmingham’s NEC, behind England’s flag-bearer Emily Campbell, who hoisted a Games record 286kg to win.
An emotional Amoe-Tarrant looked skyward after the lift that catapulted her from the also-rans and onto the podium, signaling towards the heavens in memory of her late mother, whose death when she was 12 prompted her family’s relocation to Australia, and a close uncle who recently died.
“I couldn’t help looking up to both up there. All the lifts were for them,” she said afterwards.
Amoe-Tarrant, 25, began weightlifting at the age of 11, under the tutelage of her uncle, who was a coach at a weightlifting gym. She was a field athlete, training in shot put and discus before her uncle de ella asked her to train in the weightlifting gym, where she fell in love with the sport.
She spent her early childhood in Nauru, where her mum struggled with kidney problems. Without a transplant, her mother de ella died in 2009, and Amoe-Tarrant’s grandparents, Rick and Thelma, promised to bring the family to Australia. She became a citizen in 2016.
“At the end of the day, I’m Australian and I’m also Nauran, so I’m representing both countries. I’m proud to be Australian and I’m also proud to be Nauran – and no one can take that away from me.
The154kg powerhouse produced a magnificent performance in the over-87kg category despite admitting to having felt “a lot of pressure” following recent knee and elbow injuries that were still troubling her.