Junior weightlifters set to hit the gym

By Ulimasao Fata and Ivamere Nataro ,

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President of Samoa Weightlifting and Coach Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork.

President of Samoa Weightlifting and Coach Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork.

After a marvelous performance in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Samoa Weightlifting Juniors is set to hit the gym again.

The Samoa National Weightlifting Junior team includes Silver medalists, 18-year-old Don Opeloge and 17-year-old Gold medalist’s female lifter, Feagaiga Stowers.

This was confirmed by President of Samoa Weightlifting and Coach Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, in an interview with Samoa Observer.

“I want to take them to the upcoming Junior Weightlifting Championships to be held in Uzbekistan in May. 

“The reason I want to take them is because they are both ranked in the top three in the world as juniors so realistically there’s a chance we can win medals there. 

“As soon as you are in the top three, you can win any medal; it can be a Bronze, Gold or Silver.

“So I want to take them because I think this is our time. We have already done the Commonwealth Games, we are now ready to try the Junior World Championships, from there we move to the Senior World Championships, and then we move to the Olympic Games.”

Tuaopepe said his senior team including Lui Lauititi, Nevo Ioane and Sanele Mao will take a six week break.

“They (senior team) have been training hard for the past two years with no break. Christmas no break, New Year no break, holidays no break. They were training every day of the year for the last two years.”  

He added their main focus in the Pacific Games next year is the Oceania Championships, Commonwealth Championships and the Tokyo Olympic qualification tournament. 

“The Pacific Games next year, yes we will be ready but it’s not the Games that we are putting our focus on because the South Pacific Games really is a much lower level compared to the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games, but we will have a strong team and we will have a full team.

“And the big thing about weightlifting next year is that at the Pacific Games, we are hosting it in conjunction with Oceania Championships and Commonwealth Championships for weightlifting only. 

“So weightlifting in the Pacific Games is going to be a major event. We are going to have 40 countries here with full teams to the Commonwealth Championships to try and qualify for the Olympics Games.

“On top of that, we will have the Pacific Games and Oceania Championships Games all in one.

“So that is another event we need to gear up for and the team will come back and start preparing for after their break,” Tuaopepe added. 

The team finished the 2018 Commonwealth Games with two Gold and two Silver medals.

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