Weightlifting aims for medals at Olympics
President of S.A.S.N.O.C Fepulea’i Patrick Fepulea’i has made it clear that all hopes are on the Weightlifting Federation to bring home some good news from the Rio-Olympics next month.
His comments were made during the announcement of the Samoa team last week.
“It’s a pity that our Sevens boys did not qualify for the Olympics because we had the biggest chance to win a medal through them,” he said.
“Our only strengths are Weightlifting and Sevens so now it’s just down to the Weightlifting who has the best chance: so hopefully Mary and Nevo will bring us a medal this time round.”
As for the Head Coach and President of the Samoa Weightlifting Federation, Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork said their aim is just the same as everyone else who will be competing in the Olympics.
“First thing I want to say is that at the Olympics it is not easy. This is the highest level any athlete can go,” he said.
“The expectation is high and with us the weightlifting federation, we have the same aim but we cannot guarantee that we can win a gold medal.
“We have an aim, to win a medal. That is our aim for the Olympics and it’s not easy but there is a slight chance, but it won’t be easy.”
Tuaopepe went on to say that they will try their best to win a medal but that hope goes together with having a lot faith in God.
“At the moment we are still working hard and we are doing all we can to try and win a medal from the Olympics but we depend heavily on God to help us and give us the strength,” he said.
“We will try our best and we will give all that we have for this competition and see what we can come up with.”
Ask how Mary Opeloge and Nevo Ioane’s preparations are coming along, he said there are few things that they are still working on but all in all it’s going great.
“We’ve had one or two injuries but we are trying to go through it to make sure that they recover well. It is due to the heavy training that they’ve had in the past months and weeks,” he said.
“[But] all in all training is going well, there has been an improvement and we still got two to three more weeks and then we will be leaving for about a week and a half, but approximately three weeks then our team will lift so we are still working on their fitness.”
Asked if there are any new tactics that the lifters are learning, the head coach said there are no new tactics except training hard.
“There are no new tactics but it’s all about hard trainings and trying to make sure that they peak at the right time,” he said.
“We don’t want to over train them and then by the time they're supposed to lift, their bodies are fatigued so we have to make sure that we time the training. It’s hard at times but the body will peak at the right time just before they compete.
“That’s what we are trying to be careful about and also be careful with injuries, the injuries that they already have and the injuries that they had in the past, so we have to be careful that by the time they compete they are hundred percent recovered.
“[But] the tactics is we are just going to go in there and try and produce our best performance and best lift, and if we can do that then we will be right up there and highly ranked up there.”
He also said that anything can happen especially with all the scandals of drugs that are being caught.
“Anything can happen now with all the scandals with drugs in the Olympics and sports and I think a lot of people will be hesitant and a lot of people have been disqualified so we will never know what happens there when the draw comes out,” he said.
“I hear that a few countries might be banned from the Olympics due to drugs and the committee is still on the verge of making decisions so we are doing our job and as long as we get there and we perform to the top level of our aim, I’ll be happy.”
The Head Coach reiterated that this week the two are at the most heaviest part of the training, then by next week it will ease down to one training per day rather than two per day.
“At the moment we’re just making sure that we correct all the proper techniques and make sure that everything is finished to the full extension,” he said.
“We've got to make sure that our technique is perfect so that’s what we are trying to polish up, so this week is the final week of going heavy and then we start to ease down and then it will come down to work load, which means no more two trainings a day but one training a day and then we peak at the time for the competition.
“So we're not promising anything but we will do our best to bring home a medal from the Olympics but we also need prayers from the country to help us while we represent Samoa.”
The team will leave Samoa on Monday.