Alyce Stephenson competing in the women's 48kg weightlifting category at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Alyce Stephenson competing in the women's 48kg weightlifting category at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Marty Fields

Games athlete 'fired up' for 2022 tilt

ALYCE Stephenson described her maiden Commonwealth Games appearance as "a once in a lifetime experience”.

But if the 27-year-old Ipswich Hospital surgical nurse has her way, it will not be.

Stephenson finished seventh and achieved a 5kg personal best in the women's 48kg weightlifting event on the opening day of competition at the Gold Coast Games.

By the time the closing ceremony rolled around 10 days later, Stephenson already had her eyes firmly set on a second Games berth.

"At the closing ceremony, when they started the countdown to (the 2022 Commonwealth Games in) Birmingham, that got me fired up,” Stephenson said.

"I want to do this again in four years time.”

Stephenson said the feeling of representing her country at a home Commonwealth Games was difficult to describe, such was the enormity of the occasion.

"It's weird, I can't ever imagine having that feeling again,” she said.

"It's something else, something you think you'll never experience again. It was just that Aussie spirit - it was a really good vibe.

"Something like that doesn't come around very often, unless I make another Games.”

Stephenson achieved her competition goal of lifting a combined personal best total on the Carrara Sports Arena platform.

She snatched 61kg and lifted 83kg in the clean and jerk for a cumulative total of 144kg.

"I got four of my six lifts, and to get a 5kg PB with that, I was so happy,” Stephenson said. "I was really happy to just be on stage where all my family and friends could see. They knew the numbers I wanted to get.

"I was aiming for a specific total, and I got it.”

Indian gold medallist Chanu Saikhom Mirabai set a Games record total of 196kg.

She lifted 20kg more than the silver medallist.

"I was watching the Indian girl warm up, and it was amazing,” Stephenson said. "She was the world champion, it was great to be in the same room as someone like that. She's something else.

"The calibre of women there, the top few were in a league of their own.

"I know I'm not at my peak yet. I can do it as well, as long as I put in the hours and training.

"I've got new numbers in my head already that I would love to hit.

"In another four years time, who knows. I'll definitely give it a crack.”

Stephenson is taking a well-earned break from the platform for the moment.

"I love the intensity of training, but I think my husband wants me back, I owe him some weekends,” she said.

"In terms of competition, I'll step away for a little bit.”