Stowers and Sipaia fuelling each others' success

Two of the Samoan weightlifters, who starred at the Arafura Games in Darwin last week, are pushing each other to succeed by competing in the same weight division.

Feagaiga Stowers, 18, of Sa’asa’ai and Faala won gold in the women +87 kg event, beating out her teammate Iuniarra Sipaia, 25, of Vaoala and Saluafata who won silver.

Even though it meant she finished second, Sipaia said she is happy to be in the same division as Stowers.

The reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Stowers, said the pair pushed each other to compete at their very best.

She set new Oceania Junior and Senior records with her 115 kg snatch, while Sipaia set a new Oceania Senior and Commonwealth record with a 146 kg clean and jerk.

The pair are back into intensive training, building up to the Pacific Games in July.

“Our aim is to train hard, and pray God gives us the strength to do our training,” Stowers said.

Sipaia said they need to step it up again going into the Games, which is also an Olympic qualification tournament.

“If you don’t improve your total, you can’t go on to that next step,” she said.

They both thanked God, Samoa Weightlifting Federation Head Coach Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, and all the supporters for helping them compete in Darwin, and for everything else they have done for the team.

“Thanks to all of our supporters, especially the major sponsor Samoa Water Authority and the Government for supporting the Weightlifting Federation,” said Sipaia.

Sipaia, Stowers, and the rest of the team receive a weekly allowance so they don’t have to work, and can focus on weightlifting full-time.

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