Wedding bells for weightlifting golden boy

Kiwi weightlifter Richie Patterson's focus can now move to his upcoming nuptials after winning gold in the men's 85kg class in Glasgow this morning.

After being forced to settle for silver in Delhi four years ago, the Aucklander sealed his first Commonwealth Games gold with a final lift of 184kg in the clean and jerk after two misses.

But today's gold medal win isn't the only thing the champion will be smiling about, with Patterson set to wed fellow weightlifting competitor Pip Hale in Scotland just after the Commonwealth Games finish.

The couple met three years ago when Hale took up Crossfit at the same gym as Patterson and then was converted by Patterson into a weightlifter.

Patterson told New Zealand's Woman's Weekly that it was "refreshing to be with someone who understands the ins and outs of this sport".

Patterson proposed to Hale on Valentine's Day on a secluded beach at Great Barrier Island.

With both preparing for the Games, organising a wedding had to take a back seat, and Hale's mother Gay stepped in.

The Woman's Weekly reports that the ceremony will be an intimate affair with only close friends and family invited to the wedding at a historical home in Glasgow.

Hale placed 6th overall. She said on Facebook on Saturday that it had been "a fantastic experience to lift on the Commonwealth Games Platform", and she thanked Patterson, saying that he had believed she could get to Glasgow from day one.

Patterson's total of 335kg was enough to edge India's Vikas Thakur (333) and Canada's Pascal Plamondon (333), who won silver and bronze respectively.

Thakur took the lead with an effort of 183kg and set up a tense finish as Patterson, the final lifter, emerged from the warm-up area.

Patterson missed his first attempt of 184kg and was given two red lights in a controversial call by the judges on his second.

With his final chance at glory, the determined Kiwi completed the lift in dramatic fashion.


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