The Samoa Weightlifting Federation has already selected a team to represent Samoa at the Oceania Championships held in Fiji next month.
In an interview with the President and Coach of Weightlifting Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, he told the Samoa Observer that the selection of his team was based on gold and silver medallists.
“I didn’t want to take any bronze medallists because it would be a waste of time so that was the formality of selecting the team, if they didn’t achieve this level of winning gold or silver medallists then they will not go,” he said.
“Ele Opeloge is on reserve at this time and the reason why because her lift is not up to standard, Iuniara Sipaia is better than her now.”
Asked what he expects from his team Tuaopepe said they are all ranked 1 and 2 and so he expects them to win gold medals from this tournament.
“I expect everyone to win gold medals because they are all ranked 1 and 2, the only thing that will make them win silver is if they don’t think they can do it,” said Tuaopepe.
“So maybe one or two people won’t win gold medals if they have that mentality but I truly believe they can all win gold medals.”
The Head Coach went on to say that their trainings have become extra hard now because he needs them to be strong.
“The team are at camp now and they are suffering physically, mentally and emotionally,” said Tuaopepe.
“I might have to ease down on the trainings a bit when we get closer to the time that we have to leave but for now I need to be hard on them if they want to be on the top.
“The rankings are official now, they are all ranked one or two and that is how we pick our team.
“The main aim that we are trying to get is to be qualified at the Olympics and I am looking at a team of five to six athletes to take to the Olympics because I cannot take a big team, I can only take a number of athletes.
“Lord willing, if the Oceania Championships all goes well then we will come back and prepare for the Olympics in August and we got a big job to do.
“I also thank the support from the government for the funding that we received that made this trip to the Oceania Championships possible.”
Vanessa Lui – 69kg
Mary Opeloge – 75kg
Iuniara Sipaia – 75+kg
Ele Opeloge – reserve
Nevo Ioane – 62kg
Toafitu Perive – 77kg
Petunu Opeloge – 85kg
Siaosi Leuo – 94kg
Koliata Petelo – 94kg
Sagele Mao – 105kg Division
Lauitiiti Lui – Super Heavy Weight