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Tom Goegebuer prepared for the London Olympic Games in South Africa

Belgian’s best known weightlifter might be Serge Reding with a silver medal at the Olympic Games of 1968, but the last Belgian Olympian (Beijing, 56 kg bodyweight category), Tom Goegebuer certainly beats all records in terms of representation.

With 13 consecutive participations in the European Senior Championships (European Champion in the 56 kg bodyweight category in 2009) and 10 participations in the World Senior Championships he has become a well known face in the world of weightlifting.

As he is the only Belgian competitor at World and European Championships, he can only be qualified for the Olympic Games through an individual qualification with a top 15 in the Olympic qualification list (or in extremis by reallocation). With a 254 kg Total at the last World Championships he is still in the run and already preparing hard for London 2012.

It was a great pleasure having him in South Africa at the Hottentots Holland Weightlifting Club for a pre-Olympic training camp at Strand. Tom also enjoyed the training with some South African top lifters and assisted them wherever possible. It was much appreciated form lifters and hope it will lead to annual visits.

During the European winter the great summertime of South Africa attracts many Europeans, and while they are in the same time zone the absence of jetlag makes it a unique place for training camps.

Moreover, when Tom started his career as an international weightlifter, one of his international mates was Aveenash Pandoo, National Coach of the South African Weightlifting Federation. Aveenash is not an active weightlifter anymore, but he is the Head Coach of the successful South African Weightlifting Team since 14 years.

Tom Goegebuer:

“After 24 years of training it is very important for me to enjoy my lifting in order to stay fully motivated. Coming to South Africa, to meet my old friend Aveenash and to enjoy the warm and dry weather was a very good idea. It was good to get some extra tips from an experienced coach like him and the mix of hard training in the “Holland Hottentots” Weightlifting centre and rest at the beautiful white sandy beaches was the ideal way of loading the batteries for the important upcoming Olympic year…”

We wish Tom Good luck in the Quest for the London Olympics Qualification.

By Aveenash Pandoo, National Coach SAWF