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St. Boniface lifter achingly close to gold

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It came down to how many kilograms Eric Mazur weighed, and not how many he could lift.

The St. Boniface weightlifter took silver at the Canadian Junior Weightlifting Championships in Mississauga, Ont. on Jan. 19, but felt gold was within his grasp in his fifth and final trip to the competition.

After successfully completing three lifts in the clean and jerk, and three in the snatch categories, Mazur received a score of 266 kg, which was calculated by adding together his top lift in each discipline. Ontario’s Aaron Rose received the same score, but took the top spot based on his slightly-lower weight to leave Mazur with silver for the second year in a row.

"If anything I was probably disappointed. It all played out kind of weird," said Mazur, a University of Winnipeg student who trains out of the University of Manitoba. "I had the last lift of the competition, and just by the rules, I couldn’t go (to a higher weight).

"When I went into my last lift, I knew I didn’t have the chance to go for the gold. I got the lift anyway, but it’s disappointing."

Mazur, 19, gave full credit to Rose for his strong showing, and foresees a healthy rivalry as the pair progress.

"He did really well, and it just goes to show how hard it’ll be to eventually try to beat him," he said. "I’ll have to work even harder than I have been in the past. I’ll have to really work hard to hopefully get a gold."

Mazur competed against 20-year-olds right from his first national competition in 2009, and he was glad for the experience, as he made headway each time out.

"Year after year, I put up decent improvements," he said. "This was my second year in the 77 (kg) weight class, so it kind of slowed down a bit.

"Last year, I totalled 250, and I plateaued for a while. At the end of the year, I was putting up 252 totals, and it was slow improvement. Up until even November, I totalled 256. For this competition, I got an increase to 266."

Mazur trains four times per week under the guidance of coaches Mirek Korkowski and his father, Ken Mazur. The next item on his agenda is to take part in the Western Canadian Competition in Saskatoon on Mar. 23. He has also met the qualifying standard for the World Junior Weightlifting Championship in Lima, Peru in May, but final national team selections will take place in March to allow athletes to boost their totals closer to the competition date.

dan.falloon@canstarnews.com

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