Women lifters show clout

Weightlifting among women in South Africa is booming and the South African Weightlifting Federation is expecting more numbers in future.

Weightlifting among women in South Africa is booming and the South African Weightlifting Federation is expecting more numbers in future.

Last year only three women took part at the inter-provincial tournament, but at least 10 are expected to show their skills at the University of Wits on July 5 - and this number can double by 2009.

Hester Montgomery of the SA Weightlifting Federation said one of the main reasons for the sudden interest among women is that the international standard for female lifters is not as high as with the men.

That gives them an ideal opportunity to compete overseas and develop their skills.

But Montgomery also said the importance of the high quality of South Africa's development camps must not be underestimated.

"That is why our numbers increase steadily," she said.

Women already eyeing medals at the inter-provincials include Western Province lifters Babalwa Ndelelni, Portia Vries, Zayanda Mjezu and Siziwe Adonis, EP hopefuls Mona Pretorius, Mariska Pretorius and Nicole Botha, and Gauteng competitors Matshidiso Masiu, Hopolang Lebona and Thokozile Mkwanazi.

One of South Africa's real iron ladies, Chavonne Nalgas of Port Elizabeth, is currently on military duty and will only return to the sport by the end of the year.

The future for women in the sport looks bright and challenging.- Sapa

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