Games champion’s devastating tragedy
THE fittest woman on earth will use the tragic death of her younger cousin to motivate her towards the podium at the Commonwealth Games.
Tia-Clair Toomey, the reigning Crossfit Games champion, will represent Australia in the women's 58kg weightlifting competition, dedicating her tilt at gold to her cousin Jade, who died on Tuesday.
"I really want to go out there and give it my absolute all for her, she will be on my side," Toomey said.
"These lifts, as much as I'm doing it for my country and myself, with the passing of my cousin, I'm going out onto the platform for my little cousin Jade.
"I'll be thinking about her and it will be in memory of her."
Toomey finally reached No.1 in the world in crossfit last year after coming second in the previous two years.
She said she would use lessons learnt from the Rio Olympics and crossfit to push for a podium spot.
"I'm very humbled and honoured to experience what I have in the past, but coming into the Commonwealth Games I have a lot of excitement about this experience, so I haven't really thought about crossfit too much coming in to the athlete's village.
"I've been comparing this experience a lot to Rio … I had the best lead-up to any weightlifting comp I'd ever had and it was really great. However, I think I got a bit too anxious, nervous on the platform and I feel like that affected my performance in a way.
"When I look at the numbers there, I think I've developed into a much better athlete, learning from those experiences, and obviously it comes down to the day and how I'm feeling, but I'd love to better those lifts at Rio (snatch 82kg and clean & jerk 107kg) and do my very best and I definitely think my very best is way better than what I did at Rio."
Used to the individual competition of crossfit, Toomey said she was revelling in the fact that although she would walk out onto the platform on her own, she would have the support of her family, her team and the country behind her.
"We're not competing against each other," she said.
"It's quite nice. We want each other to do the best that we can. There's no hostility or anything like that. It's like we're a family really.
"The whole reason we're here (is to get gold). It's an amazing experience and a true honour to represent Australia, but at the end of the day, we're all here to win.
"Hopefully we'll all be successful at it."
Toomey competes on Friday at 6.30pm.