Erika Yamasaki

Further Personal Information
Other names
Erika Ropati-Frost
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up the sport in 2000 at the Cougars Weightlifting Club in Chandler, QLD, Australia. Before she took up weightlifting, she competed in trampolining and gymnastics.
Why this sport?
She was selected during a talent identification test at her school. "Weightlifting grew on me initially. When I first started, it was a lot different to what I was used to doing. Both my parents had a massive gymnastics background. As funny as weightlifting is very different to gymnastics, they were actually both very encouraging for me to just choose a sport I loved doing myself."
Club / Team
Cougars Weightlifting Club: Brisbane, QLD, AUS
Name of coach
Angela Wydall [club], AUS; Robert Mitchell [national], AUS
International Debut
Year
2005
Competing for
Australia
Tournament
Oceania Championships
Location
Melbourne, VIC, AUS
General Interest
Hobbies
Photography. (qwa.org, 03 Jun 2019)
Injuries
She suffered bulging discs in her lower back several months after the 2015 National Championships in Melbourne, VIC, Australia. (gc2018.com, 15 Dec 2017)

At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, she was forced to withdraw after injuring her elbow during the warm up. (gc2018.com, 15 Dec 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Weightlifting is 90% mental and 10% strength. Weightlifting is such a mental sport and so even having a thick head from being sick or a head cold, you can't focus as well as you can normally. I love being on the platform. I've been on many competition stages and for some reason, nerves usually get the better of me but when it comes to weightlifting, they don't. I just feed off it. I am in my zone and I just enjoy the idea of the sport and what it's about, and I just love competing. That's what's kept me around for so long." (gc2018.com, 15 Dec 2017)
Awards and honours
She was the Australian flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa. (samoa2019.ws, 10 Jul 2019)

In 2019 she was awarded a Life Membership by the Queensland Weightlifting Association in Australia. She was also named the Best Female Lifter at the Queensland Championships. (qwa.org, 03 Jun 2019; qwa.org, 08 May 2019)
Famous relatives
Her father Minoru Yamasaki represented Australia in gymnastics, and competed at the world championships in 1983 and 1985. (Athlete, 13 Nov 2014; gymnasticsnt.com.au, 2014)
Other information
RIO REGRET
She said she was "devastated" to miss out on selection for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, which was partly due to injuries affecting her performance, and is aiming for redemption by competing at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. "This is my last opportunity and [carrying the flag at the 2019 Pacific Games opening ceremony in Samoa] has given me a lot of encouragement about what the year ahead holds. The support of the people around me have helped me get over it [missing Rio]. That help as an athlete is so important because you're so focused on your goal. Now I feel like I really want to go on and compete at the [2020] Olympics because of them." (abc.net.au, 08 Jul 2019; couriermail.com.au, 27 Jun 2016)

FURTHER IN SPORT
She is a Level 2 Australian Weightlifting Federation [AWF] Coach and International Category 2 referee. (qwa.org, 03 Jun 2019)

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