Tevita Ngalu’s incredible effort sends a CrossFit affiliate owner to the Olympic Games in weightlifting. Emily Beers reports.
Generally, Olympic weightlifting is thought of as an individual sport. However, when it comes to Olympic qualification, if a country doesn’t qualify any athletes via the World Championships, it gets a second chance to qualify through the continental qualification system.
This meant that in order for New Zealand to send its top male lifter—CrossFit affiliate owner Richie Patterson—to the London Olympic Games this summer, New Zealand needed a strong showing at the Oceania Championships that were held at the beginning of June in Samoa.
More specifically, New Zealand had to place in the top five, which meant that all six of the men on the team had to have strong performances to earn enough points to send Patterson to his second Olympic Games.
The bottom line was New Zealand—and Patterson—absolutely needed Tevita Ngalu’s 157-kilogram clean and jerk or it was game over.
Ngalu, however, had torn his quadriceps only five days prior.