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Ott earns bronze at Canadian weightlifting championships
Eight kilograms isn't all that heavy.
It's about the weight of a one-year-old child, a rather robust feline, or a decent-sized turkey.
But putting eight kilos on top of an additional 159 changes the comparison.
Abbotsford weightlifter Justin Ott had to lift 167 kg in the clean and jerk at last month's national championships to earn the bronze, and he pulled it off.
Ott has been competing for six years, and secured his first medal after attending nationals five previous times.
"My training numbers weren't the greatest going in, but I was a lot more mentally dialed in," he said.
Years of competition prepared him for the mental strain, but after having been on the other side of the equation – losing the bronze in 2012 by one kg – he wasn't going to let that stop him this year.
There were 21 lifters in the 94 kg weight category, making it one of the largest groups at the championships, held in Saskatoon, Sask. May 17-18. Competitors each get three attempts to lift their maximum in two events: the clean and jerk, and the snatch. The highest weights from each event are combined to give a final score.
Ott recorded a 129 kg snatch, and 167 in clean and jerk.
"I have done higher in both," he said, but that day his tally was enough for a podium finish.
While a relative newcomer to the competitive weightlifting world, Ott has always been involved in athletics, playing hockey, track and field and football at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
The competitive lifting caught his eye during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and when Ott decided he wanted to get back into shape, he desired more than just going to the gym.
"It's more rewarding than just lifting," he said, and it creates a goal to strive towards.
Sometimes you're just grinding it out, Ott said about some training sessions, but "then there are times that make it all worth it."
The 31-year-old trains four times a week in his garage, and whenever possible goes to a private gym in Abbotsford, and jets to White Rock to train with his coach, 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist Christine Girard. Ott had high praise for his coach, and said her instruction and guidance were keys to his success.