Honouring Ele

By Marj Moore 27 February 2017, 12:00AM

Tapu’ele’ele (Ele) Opeloge was born on July 11, 1985. She is a Samoan weightlifter competing in the women’s +75 kg category. 

Ele comes from a weightlifting family. Her brother, Niusila is also a Commonwealth gold medalist, winning it the same day as her. Four other relatives have also competed at Commonwealth level. 

2007 - At the age of 22 at the 2007 World Championships she ranked 11th, with a total of 250 kg. 

2008 - She represented Samoa at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, competing in the over 75kg category. She was also her country’s flagbearer during the Games’ opening ceremony. Ele finished fourth in her event, narrowly missing out on a bronze medal. She lifted 269 kg, matching her personal best, while Mariya  Grabovetskaya of Kazakhstan lifted 270 kg to finish third. In August 2016, the IWF reported in the IOC reanalysis of the 2008 Beijing Olympics that the silver and bronze medalists - Olha Korobka of Ukraine, and Mariya Grabovetskaya - failed retests of their doping samples. The IWF later reallocated medals accordingly, elevating Ele to become the silver medalist and also the first-ever Olympic medalist from Samoa. 

2010 - Ele won a gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India in over 75 kg class with a Games record of 285 kg. It was also Samoa’s second gold medal in the history of the Games. 

2012 - Ele took 6th place in the London Olympics. Her build up to the Olympics were disrupted by chicken pox and typhoid. 

2014 - Ele was the Samoan flagbearer for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, as well as being one of the baton carriers as the Queen’s baton made its way through Samoa. At the Games she won the Silver medal in the +75 kg category. 

(Additional information from Wikipedia)

By Marj Moore 27 February 2017, 12:00AM

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