The Samoa Weightlifting Federation is looking at 2016 with a lot of optimism.
And already they have their eyes on the big events such as the Olympic Games in August, Oceania Championships in May and the World Youth Championship and Commonwealth Championships in October.
President and Head Coach of S.W.F Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork said his team only had Christmas and New Year’s days off.
“This year is a big year for us with all the major tournaments happening this year, as well as our juniors,” he said.
“I want to take them (juniors) to the World Championships, this will be their first exposure outside of Samoa to try and win gold medals.
“Another main thing is that I want to take a team to that event, there’s a particular female from the S.V.S.G. and she has a very good chance to win a medal in the World Youth Championship.”
However, Tuaopepe said the main event that he is setting his eyes on is the Oceania Championships on the 7th May – 12th.
“I am looking at taking a full team to this event,” he said.
“This will be a first time in history where we will be taking a full team which means 8 men, 7 women, Coach, Manager and an Assistant Coach and some juniors so to add all up we will be looking at more than twenty lifters that we will be taking.
“This will also require a lot of money and that is why I am preparing a letter for the government to assist us on some funding for this trip.”
Tuaopepe said the expectations for this trip is that they want to bring back at least 35 gold medals which will be a record for the Oceania Championships.
“[But] most importantly is that we want to be qualifying for the Olympics and so the aim is to qualify two to four lifters because the qualification depends on the team points and that is one of the most important aims; to qualify first in the Oceania Championships,” he said.
“[And] from there we work on the Olympic Games and we will have one or two lifters who will rank very highly in the world rankings and anything can happen in the Olympic Games and our aim is to win a medal in the Olympic and that’s the next aim after qualifying in the Oceania Championships.
“We are also preparing for the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and we have put together a squad.
“We will have a competition next month and that is our first competition for the year to test our lifters and also look for a tentitive team for the Oceania Championships and then another competition in March to select our teams.”