Weightlifters celebrate massive 2016

By Sina Filifilia Sevaaetasi ,

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Samoa Weightlifting Family

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Samoa Weightlifting Family (Photo: Misiona Simo )

2016 has been a very prosperous year for the Samoa Weightlifting Federation. 

With Ele Opeloge on the verge of making Olympic history for Samoa with a silver medal guaranteed, Iuniarra Sapaia’s gold medal, sweeping the Samoa Sports Awards, and much more .  

The Federation concluded a successful year on a positive note with a medal presentation at Island Rock on Thursday.

The medals were awarded to the weightlifters who participated in the Samoa Weightlifting’s competition for the Samoa Games. 

The newly revived Samoa Games has hit its bumps along the way but overall was a great learning curve for everyone. 

The revitalization of the Samoa Games was heavily backed by the Samoa Weightlifting Fesertaion.  

No one was more pleased to see its return than the President of Samoa Weightlifting, Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork. 

48kg Gold Medalist and Best Junior Female: Saofaialo Jim
48kg Gold Medalist and Best Junior Female: Saofaialo Jim
Gold Medal in the 75+kg category and Best Senior Female- Iuniarra Sapaia
Gold Medal in the 75+kg category and Best Senior Female- Iuniarra Sapaia
105kg: Silver Medalist Loto Toavalu, Gold Medalist Sagele Mao, Bronze Medalist Junior Mataitai.
105kg: Silver Medalist Loto Toavalu, Gold Medalist Sagele Mao, Bronze Medalist Junior Mataitai.
Gold Medal in 62kg Category and Best Senior Male: Vaipava Nevo Ioane
Gold Medal in 62kg Category and Best Senior Male: Vaipava Nevo Ioane
94kg: Maeu Nanai Livi, Loto Toavalu standing in the place of Koliata Petelo , and Larry Ulisese
94kg: Maeu Nanai Livi, Loto Toavalu standing in the place of Koliata Petelo , and Larry Ulisese
V for Victory: Don Opeloge, Petunu Opeloge, Andrew Sumeo
V for Victory: Don Opeloge, Petunu Opeloge, Andrew Sumeo

“It’s a great thing to revive the games because I have a strong feeling next year, we’re going to have many countries coming in like New Zealand and Australia.  For us as a sport, it’s another competition that we look forward to test our athletes.  I’m sure not only weightlifting but other sports as well.”

There’s no hiding the high pedigree that many of these lifters have achieved.  The Samoa Games provided a great test amongst each other to see how they fair.  

“ Some of the those lifters are at a very high level. Nevo is actually in the top 2 in the Commonwealth and also Iuniarra, she’s right at the top and few others.  Our lifters are actually ranked quite highly but when we compete here, everyone’s the same.

“I’m glad we got it started even though it’s a bit rough and we’re missing some things but it’s a good test. We look forward to next year, we’re going to invite more countries and have an even better year.”

Tuaopepe is already looking ahead to the upcoming year and looking to surpass this years accomplishments. 

 “Our goal now is strive for next year, we want to win the Commonwealth Games , we want to win gold medals.  We want to get some lifters in the top 3, top 5 in the world and that’s what we’re aiming for and that’s what we want.  

“We’ve got a very strong team, not just senior team but junior team as well.  Next year, I hope will be a good year.” The team has the holidays off and then it’s back to business in the gym.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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