New champion lifts the bar

Daniel Katz is interviewed after the best performance of his weightlifting career last month.

A NEW champion was crowned when Daniel Katz won the Australian National Weightlifting Championships for competitors under 77 kilograms in Brisbane late last month.

The 26-year-old followed in the footsteps of his father and coach Ivan Katz, who throughout his career won several national championships, was a silver medallist at the Commonwealth Games and a gold medallist at the Maccabiah Games.

Katz went into the tournament ranked number three.

Due to injuries over the past few years, Katz’s personal best was 157 kilograms, until the day of the tournament when he lifted 160kg, his best performance for many years.

“He has been training very well this year and has been training with me since he was a little kid, but he made some very good breakthroughs this year,” Ivan told The AJN.

“We knew we needed a fairly good lead as [Daniel’s] opponent’s second attempt was 163kg and needed to lift 168kg to win, which he couldn’t do.”

Due to Katz’s lower weight, he had a seven-kilogram advantage over second-placed Queenslander Leo Lark.

From winning the competition, Katz has now been chosen to compete at the Commonwealth Youth, Junior and Senior Championships, which will be held in Malaysia later this month.

“He has always had the capacity to be the best and an outstanding lifter.

“His approach was very good on the day and that is what has held him back in the past.”

When it comes to having the right mindset, Ivan told The AJN his son is starting to find the right balance.

“All he has to do is think about what he is doing right at the moment, not what is going to happen or what did happen.

“It’s a difficult mindset to have because it goes against everything you learn in the outside world.

“In lifting, you can’t have that because then you’re not focused,” he added.

DANIEL SHANDLER