For more than 12 months, Snake Athletic's Jake Douglas thought "it was the right time" for an Olympic Weightlifting competition to be held in Tamworth.
After initially planning to hold an event last year - before COVID-19 put an end to that - the gym held the Tamworth Open on Sunday.
Not only was the response by competitors and spectators alike positive but the results were equally so.
There was a bunch of personal bests as competitors completed two separate competition lifts - snatch and clean and jerk.
Veronica Pearson just missed out on registering a qualifying lift for the World Masters but will have more chances to do so, Douglas said.
Blake Mammarella, who lifted a total of 269 kilograms, qualified for the AWF (Australian Weightlifting Federation) Senior Championships and Georgia Pryer, with a combined total of 148 kilograms, has locked in a spot at the Australian Open.
Mammarella will join Douglas - who qualified in March - at the championships in September.
"We're really lucky to have myself Blake going [to the AWF Senior Championships] and Georgia is knocking on the door," Douglas said.
"To have at least two of our squad competing is awesome considering we've only been a barbell club for a short amount of time [two years]."
As for Sunday's competition, Douglas said "it went really well".
"We had a lot more interest than we thought we would," he said.
"A bunch of spectators rocked up throughout the day and to have 30-odd competitors in a weightlifting event in a rural area was great.
"We had about seven or eight locals. We had competitors from Dubbo, Sydney, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Glen Innes - all around.
"That's the first time ever there's been an Olympic Weightlifting competition in Tamworth or in the North West that I know of. We just felt it was the right time.
"NSW Weightlifting Association came down and helped us run the event. It was just a great spectacle."
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