25 March, 2024

Duesbury dons green and gold

DONNING green and gold for the very first time, local weightlifter Karli Duesbury has made her region and country proud, securing silver in the 2024 Oceania Championships 55kg weight class.

Duesbury dons green and gold - feature photo

Setting her eyes on the prize, Duesbury dedicated countless hours preparing for the event, where she went up against some of the strongest women from Guam, Solomon Islands and Nauru, including former Olympian Jenly Tegu Wini. 

Qualifying for the event came as a surprise for Duesbury, with a last-minute decision from officials changing the qualifying total, allowing her to lift. 

“Basically when I went to nationals last year, I was trying to qualify for this event but I wasn’t quite there but then they had some changes at the end of the year and the qualifying total had dropped,” she said. 

“I only found out about 10 weeks out that I was selected to the Australia team for the championships which were held in Auckland.

“There was little time to prepare myself and then having to weight cut, my whole focus was mostly on my weight to make sure I was at the right competing weight.

“It took a lot of energy out of me but it was an awesome experience to be able to represent Australia and to wear the green and gold was my biggest highlight.”

With a team of 30 women, Duesbury spent five days in the competition, showcasing her skills to a calibre of high level judges. 

She said she couldn’t believe she was competing an arena as big as Due Drop Entertainment Centre Auckland. 

“It was amazing, and Weightlifting New Zealand had such a great performance centre for the competition,” she said. 

Putting her all into the competition, Duesbury’s hard work had paid off when they announced her name over the loudspeaker as second place.

Even now, Duesbury says it still hasn’t sunk in yet that she is the second-best 55kg weight class lifter in Oceania. 

“It felt a bit strange because I didn’t feel a whole lot of emotions because I was so focused on the task at hand,” she said. 

“It was nearly as though it was a ‘job done, lets go home’ kind of thing but the second place win hadn’t really hit me.

“But obviously I am very happy with how I performed, and it has just put a fire in my belly to do more competitions this year and hopefully qualify for the next international event.”

Duesbury’s employer John Cole at John Cole Toyota has been supporting her through every step of the competition, allowing her to follow her dreams to compete for Australia.  

Mr Cole said he was proud of her achievements and couldn’t wait to see what was next for her.

“She showed off her incredible skill, determination, and sportsmanship, earning a silver in the Senior division for the 55kg weight class. This is a huge nod to her dedication and hard work,” he said.

“We're so proud to be a part of Karli's journey.  It's important for us to help nurture and support local talent. Watching Karli wear the green and gold for Australia was a major highlight.

“The team got together to watch the livestream and seeing her compete with the best was a truly proud moment for us all.

“It really shows how supporting each other can turn a hobby into an amazing opportunity to represent our country.

 “Karli, your family here at John Cole Toyota is with you at every turn. Keep pushing, keep dreaming, and continue to inspire us all.”

Duesbury’s next goal is to qualify and hopefully be selected to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Championships held in Fiji, in September later this year.


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