18-year-old sets new record

By Deidre Tautua – Fanene ,

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Don Opeloge receiving his gold medal at the Oceania Championships.

Don Opeloge receiving his gold medal at the Oceania Championships. (Photo: Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork in Noumea)

Eighteen-year-old Don Opeloge created history at the Oceania Championship held at Noumea, New Caledonia this week by setting a new record.

Opeloge smashes the Oceania record with a snatch of 145kg.

He won two Gold medals, one in the junior division and one in the senior division for the 85kg men’s division.

President and Coach of the Samoa Weightlifting Federation, Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, said he is very proud.

Opeloge attends Avele College and has just been lifting for about two years.

 “His training routine is usually daily sessions at the gym after school,” said Tuaopepe.

 “When preparing for big events, he is in training with his team around 4.30am, back to school and then back at the gym in the afternoon at 5-7.3 0 for more intense trainings.  That is sheer dedication.

“Don is an outstanding elite athlete at this level for someone so young.

“He performed well and was too far ahead of his competitors by 30kg.

“There is no athlete in Samoa that holds an Oceania Record let alone a South Pacific record.

“He competed against everyone from the Oceania, Nauru, Marshall Island, P.N.G., New Zealand and Australia.

“There were nine competitors in his division.”

Another lifter that Tuaopepe was proud of was young Sekolisitika Isaia who won bronze medal.

“I am very happy with young Sekolisitika with her best performance ever and improving by 12kg which is a massive improvement,” he said.

“She did a personal best and an improvement of 12kg in the 58kg senior division for females.

“With only two years of training, she has a bright future in the sport.

“I am very proud of both young athletes.

“We have four more lifters left to compete and our goal is to try and win more gold medals.” 

Yesterday was the last day of the competition.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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