National success for Bundaberg's Matt Eichmann
WEIGHTLIFTING: A chance training session with his brother has led Bundaberg's Matt Eichmann to national success in a new sport.
Just over six months ago the former rower was told to weightlift in a small club event to see how he would go.
Since then the 15-year-old has not looked back as he starts to pursue a career.
After finishing second at the state titles in the 62kg category in Toowoomba, he continued that form at the nationals earlier this month to take home a silver medal.
Unfortunately though for the YMCA athlete, he was beaten on both occasions by fellow Queenslander Brighton Lake.
Talking at his training base, the Bundaberg State High School student said a combination of areas let him down.
"I was happy with second but I could have done better,” he said.
"I competed late in the afternoon and was feeling a bit knackered.
'If I had have gotten the weights I wanted I would have got the same total (as Lake).”
With an intense regime just to get to the nationals, Eichmann said he have to give up plenty of creature comforts along the way.
"A few weeks (before the competition) you have to cut back and not have lollies (to make the weight),” he said.
"You are still working hard two weeks before the event by lifting heavy weights.”
With such a limited amount of time in the sport, Eichmann said his next goal was to qualify for the internationals next year.
"I think the international total is 195 and the total I have been doing is 142,” he said.
"I need to now lift 20-25 kilos in each lift - clean and jerk and snatch - to get there.”
"As my technique gets better I'm confident of getting there.”
Eichmann said the ultimate goal is to one day compete at the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.
Currently looking at completing a level one in coaching as well, the talented youngster said he is happy to help those who want to start weightlifting.
"If anyone is interested you can genuinely find me at the YMCA,” he said.
"So, if anyone wants to have a shot they can come and give it a go.”