Weightlifting guru and someone who played a role in developing Samoa’s Olympic medalist, Ele Opeloge, has praised her achievement.
Paul Coffa, the General Secretary of the Oceania Weightlifting Federation, congratulated Ele upon being confirmed as Samoa’s first Olympic medalist.
“The Oceania Weightlifting Federation is delighted to see that Ele Opeloge from Samoa has been officially declared by the IWF – the silver medallist from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the +75kg category,” a statement from Coffa said.
“Her name has now officially appeared in the IWF 2008 Olympic Games results.”
Coffa said the moment is a proud one not just for Ele and her family but also Samoa and the Pacific.
“She has now become the first female in the sport of weightlifting from the Oceania region to win a medal at the Olympic Games,” Coffa said.
“We now wait for the I.O.C to officially hand over the medal to the Samoan Olympic Committee and then officially be presented to Ele Opeloge.”
“Congratulations Ele and congratulations to Samoa Weightlifting Federation, the Samoa NOC and the people of Samoa. Great Christmas News.”
Ele had originally placed fourth in Beijing.
However after the reanalysis of the drug testing at the 2008 Olympics and subsequent adverse analytical findings of the original silver medallist from Kazakhstan and bronze medallist from the Ukraine and their subsequent disqualification, Ele is now the rightful silver medallist.
The President of the Samoa Weightlifting Federation and Ele’s coach, Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, is delighted about the news.
“The Samoa Weightlifting Federation together with the Oceania Weightlifting Federation and O.N.O.C are pushing for the medal to be sent at the earliest.
“This is history for Samoa and the weightlifting family. I sincerely hope that it will be given the recognition it deserves.”