21 August, 2023

Local legend lifts to victory

ONE of the strongest women the region has seen, Karli Duesbury Marek has smashed goals and won gold at the Australian National Titles recently, qualifying for the Pan Pacific Games, Oceana Games and potentially the Commonwealth Games.

By Ellie Fink

Karli Duesbury Marek recently won gold at the Australian National Finals for weightlifting. PHOTO: MOMENTS BY BILBO
Karli Duesbury Marek recently won gold at the Australian National Finals for weightlifting. PHOTO: MOMENTS BY BILBO

Karli has been involved in the CrossFit and weightlifting scene since she was a young adult after being a gymnast throughout her childhood and teenage years.

Strength, balance and stamina runs through her veins, pushing her to her limits and to success.

Travelling to Townsville, Karli went up against some the best in the sport, weighing in for the 55kg category.

“On the day itself, it was an awesome battle, trying to compete against one of the girls from Victoria who claimed the title last year,” she said.

“I had to really put my game face on and try and stay in the zone and trust myself. I went for a PB (personal best) clean and jerk, which was 95 kilos, so I was able to hit weights that I knew that I could.

“Competition always brings out the best in my lifting, so it really put a fire in my belly to do better again next year.”

Training under the watchful eye of her coaches and Olympians Reagan and Andrea Hams, Karli is now on track to meeting her goals and representing her home town of Atherton and Australia at the Commonwealth Games.

To get out into the big arena for the Pan Pacific Games and Oceana Games, Karli must lift a total combined weight of 170kg, which she is 3kg shy of, with her main goal over the next year to go above and beyond that goal.

Being in a small community, she says there weren’t many opportunities to train at the level she is at and is grateful for the support her training team have given her.

“I have a few people (locally) who help me out but being in a small town, there’s not a massive amount of opportunities for weightlifters,” she said.

“It’s definitely hard when you compete very competitively within a sport.”

As she heads into the next chapter of her athletic career, Karli thanked the people of Atherton and surrounding communities who have helped her reach her full potential.

“I am grateful for the people who I am so lucky to be surrounded by and the people who support me sporting wise,” she said.

“Especially my coach and my partner – there are a lot of people who I think made it possible for me to push through every single day through the good and bad because sometimes it is not always good.”


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