28 Jun 2016

Two weightlifters selected for Rio Olympics

10:02 am on 28 June 2016

New Zealand will take two weightlifters to the Rio Olympics.

New Zealand weightlifter Tracey Lambrechs.

New Zealand weightlifter Tracey Lambrechs. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Following on from his gold medal winning performance at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Richie Patterson has secured his spot to lift in the men's 85kg division for Rio.

Joining him in the team will be Tracey Lambrechs, a Glasgow 2014 bronze medallist, has secured her spot to compete in the women's +75kg division.

There have now been 111 athletes selected to the New Zealand Olympic Team for August's Rio games.

It has been 16 years since New Zealand last selected a male and female weightlifter for a games, with the Sydney 2000 Olympics the only other time this has occurred.

In Sydney, Nigel Avery and Olivia Baker competed for New Zealand. This was also the first time women's weightlifting was introduced to the Olympic programme.

With Patterson confirmed for his third Olympic Games, he joins Don Oliver in being the only New Zealand weightlifter to be selected for three Olympic Games.

"I'm feeling very excited to once again be back on the Olympic Platform, it is the pinnacle honour in the sport of Olympic Weightlifting to compete at the Olympic Games.

"Not only do I get to show my ability and compete against the best in the world, it is also a chance to represent the wider New Zealand sporting community in the New Zealand Olympic Team," said Patterson.

"I look forward to exceeding my own expectations and to provide inspiration for generations to come."

Selection into the team for Rio signals a first Olympic call up and a dream come true for Lambrechs, having narrowly missed selection for the London 2012 Games four years ago.

"I'm feeling a mixture of relief, happiness and pride," she said.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to do what I love on one of the worlds biggest sporting stages."

The weightlifting will take place at the Rio Centro complex over 10 days at the games, with lifting scheduled from August 7-14.

The men will compete in eight events based on athlete weight categories, from under 56kg to the super-heavyweights at over 105kg.

Women compete for seven gold medals, from under 48kg to over 75kg.

Each weight category is an event and all competitions are finals.

Richie Patterson will compete on August 12 (August 13 NZT) and Tracey Lambrechs on August 14 (August 15 NZT).