A GAMBLE to jump up a weight division has paid off for Australia's Seen Lee, who this afternoon recorded a seventh placing in the women's -63kg event with an outstanding performance at London's Excel Centre.
Completing four out of six lifts for a total of 186kg, Lee showed tremendous poise on the platform to out-gun her nearest rivals and achieve a higher placing than if had she competed in her original division.
The ecstatic 29-year-old said it was a "calculated gamble" that potentially gained her more than 10 rankings, due to a highly competitive 58kg class.
While capable of personal best lifts of 96kg in the snatch and 112kg in the clean and jerk (208kg) Lee said she was thrilled with her performance in light of her ongoing recovery from an ankle injury.
"I'm really happy, this is a major event and you can't get much bigger than this, and I felt I did really well," Lee said.
"In terms of the weights I've been doing, I came very close to what I've been doing in training.
"It would have been nice to get my last snatch and clean and jerk - that would have been the icing on the cake - they were very close.
"The [seventh] is absolutely great, you can't ask for much more than that."
Lee started her event with a solid 78kg snatch before returning to complete an 83kg lift for her second attempt.
She then came within a whisker of notching up 86kg on her third and final lift of the snatch, but lost the barbell over the back at the last moment.
Lee finished the snatch one kilogram ahead of Fiji's Maria Liku and four kilos ahead Lucia Castaneda Gomez of Nicaragua , who prior to the event was considered her nearest rival for a top-eight finish.
Lee returned to the platform for the clean and jerk as confidently as she left, easily completing her first lift of 98kg.
She was just as impressive in her second lift of 103kg, only narrowly missing her third and final clean and jerk of 106kg.
Nevertheless, her 186kg performance gave her the top-eight finish she was hoping for, edging out her rivals Liku (182kg), Castaneda Gomez (176kg) and Peru's Silvana Saldarriaga (172kg).
She later told of her admiration of the division's top lifters, particularly gold medal winner Maiya Maneza of Kazakhstan, who managed an incredible 245kg.
"She is so strong," Lee said.
"They're fantastic, they're just great. They dedicate their lives to it. I could learn technically from them, training methods from them, just to get stronger."
Lee said she'd waste no time preparing for the next Commonwealth Games and hoped to qualify for the 2016 Olympics provided her body holds up.
"I love it way too much [to stop now]. How I feel right now, I feel absolutely over the moon and I just want to keep going."