Who is SA’s top female weightlifter and Olympic hopeful Anneke Spies?

Who is SA’s top female weightlifter and Olympic hopeful Anneke Spies?

SA female weightlifter Anneke Spies made her major international debut at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, but she’s been earning her stripes for some time now in minority sport.

While she did not reach the podium in the UK, just qualifying to make the trip was almost enough as recognition.  

Speaking to SABC Sport as she looks ahead to being one of the athletes to represent the country at the Olympics Games in Paris later this year, Spies shared her background. 

"I started competing in CrossFit, and our team went to regionals in 2017, from which we then went to the [CrossFit] Games at that time, and I just remember the first day back, I told my coach I don't want to be in a team anymore, I want to go individual," she recalled.

"He then said I need ti get stronger, so we started doing weightlifting separate from CrossFit, just to actually build strength for CrossFit, and then I just kind of figured, I'm actually enjoying it and I'm doing well."

Although she does have a competitive streak, even during this interview, Spies was adamant she was not one to measure her progress based on how far her rivals have gone or achieved. 

"I try and take every competition not seeing who's around me and competing against them, but rather knowing what I'm capable of and trying to achieve what I can on the day," she added.

"So I think that made a big difference in my weightlifting so far. You know men are men, and there's testosterone, but I want to win, which I think makes it easier for me.

"A couple of females are like that, but for me, if the girl next to me lifts heavier than me, well done because you were better on the day, but even if I came last and I did a kilogram better than my previous competition, I'm happy."

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