Gold medal winner Don adds to Opeloge weightlifting dynasty

By Nynette Sass - Chef de Mission ,

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Don Opeloge.

Don Opeloge.

Don hails from the Opeloge clan who are synonymous with Weightlifting success. 

His aunty, Ele Opeloge, is a well known Weightlifting star and Olympic Silver Medallist plus a holder of a host of other titles during her active career.

Don is 17 years of age. He currently attends Avele College. He has just been lifting around two years.

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

“When preparing for big events, he is in training with his team in the morning around 4.30am, back to school and then back at the gym in the afternoon at 5-7.30 for more intense trainings.  That is sheer dedication.

“Don is an outstanding elite athlete at this level for someone so young. He has already qualified and  will be challenging for Gold at the upcoming Commonwealth games in April.” 

Tuaopepe pointed out that the 2014 Commonwealth Games was a Snatch of 145kg and Clean & Jerk of 185kg. 

Don lifted 147kgs for his snatch and 180kgs for the Clean and Jerk. He was unsuccessful on his 190kg attempt. Looking at these stats, Don is on his way to challenge that recent Commonwealth Gold medal lift as well.

When asked how he was feeling overall after last evening’s medal haul, he said “I’m not happy with my last snatch lift…I could have done better. I wanted those three golds”, then break all those other records at the same time.” 

There is a fierceness and hunger in this young champ and we applaud and wish Don much success as he continues to grow in his sport.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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