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Weight lifted from their shoulders

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(L-R) Toni Lane and Louise Webb with their gold medals. Photo – Jessica Howard
(L-R) Toni Lane and Louise Webb with their gold medals. Photo – Jessica Howard

By Jessica Howard

Bacchus Marsh has not one, but two, gold medallists in its midst.

Toni Lane and Louise Webb have returned home from the 2017 World Masters Games with two gold medals and one world record.

The two Bacchus Marsh residents competed in the weightlifting competition held on April 27, taking out the top gong in their respective age and weight class.

Louise also took out a World Masters record, with a 49-kilogram snatch and a 56-kilogram clean and jerk.

The World Masters Games is an international multi-sport event held every four years. To qualify for the weightlifting event, competitors must meet strict weight requirements.

Toni said it was “amazing” to have come out on top of such a competitive field.

“I was competing against about seven other girls, who were all were very strong. I had one American whose entry total was quite a bit more than mine, so I wasn’t really expecting to win, but I did and by just one-kilogram”.

Louise, who has trained at Invictus since it was based out of a small shed, said the experience was “terrifying but exhilarating”.

“Our gym structure is very strength-based and I’ve always really loved weightlifting, so I started looking at the state and Australian results and I thought to myself, I could be competitive here.

“When I realised I had won a world championship; I was in shock”.

Toni and Louise also hold state-wide weightlifting records for their age and weight.

The pair regularly train together at Invictus gym and also with a weightlifting coach in Geelong.

“There is a lot of training behind weightlifting as it’s quite a hard sport to perfect,” Toni said.

“I’ve done a lot of other stuff, from tough-mudders to marathons, and this has definitely been the most challenging… but I really enjoy it, as no matter what is going on in your life, you just go to training and when you’re in the zone, it’s only you and the barbell”.

During the international competition, Toni was also part of the second-placed Australian’s women team.

The gold medallists will now look towards the Pan Pacific Masters Games to be held in Queensland, followed by the World Masters Championships in Barcelona.