Weightlifters ready for international competition on home soil
The 21 athletes S.W.A. Samoa Weightlifting Team are ready to represent their country at home in the four-in-one International Weightlifting Championships from Tuesday to Saturday next week.
Coach Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork said he is confident in the way his team have prepared.
“We’ve done the hard work…, I’d say 10 months of solid training.”
He said even though they are a young team, expectations are high.
“Some of them haven’t been lifting for a very long time but I’m very confident that they’ve done the hard work.
“There’s no other choice for us, it’s a gold or nothing.
“They are capable of all winning gold medals, but it depends on the day.
“Hopefully we don’t let the country down, our supporters, and that the flag flies for Samoa.”
A number of the team will be favourites to win gold in their categories, including Junior World Champion Don Opeloge (89 kg men) and Junior World Championships gold and silver medallist Feagaiga Stowers (+87 kg women).
They will get to perform in front of International Weightlifting Federation (I.W.F.) President Dr. Tamas Ajan, General Secretary Jalood Mohammed and Director General Attila Adamfi.
“Those are the three main people in weightlifting in the world,” Tuaopepe said.
The executive boards of the Oceania Weightlifting Federation and Commonwealth Weightlifting Federation will also be present, and are having their Annual Congresses on Monday.
“Everyone will be here, all the key players in weightlifting anyway,” said Tuaopepe.
He said it will be good exposure for Samoa weightlifting, as will the live stream on the I.W.F. website.
“Hopefully we’ll invite more people in years to come to host bigger events.
“It’s a stepping stone to much bigger tournaments, and what we have in mind now is a World Championships.”
An event on that scale would be a first for Samoa, who previously hosted the I.W.F. World Cup in 2007.
The four-in-one International Weightlifting Championships combines the Pacific Games, Oceania and Commonwealth Championships with an Olympic qualifier.
S.W.A. Samoa Weightlifting Team:
- Vaipava Nevo Ioane
- Iuniarra Sipaia
- Siaosi Leuo
- Sanele Mao
- Lauititi Lui
- Don Opeloge
- Feagaiga Stowers
- Lesila Fiapule
- Maeu Nanai Livi
- Jim Saofaialo
- Sekolasitika Isaia
- Leotina Kolotita Sive Petelo
- John Lautafi Tafi
- Petelo Tuiloma Lautusi
- Tavita Iefata Toe Leilua
- Jack Hitila Opeloge
- Petunu Opeloge Tovia
- Tauvale Elia Ulaula
- Malachi David Faamausilifala
- Tuualii Ropati
- Loto Pereira
- Coach: Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork
- Team Managers: Salimu Lui, Tauvale Faamausili
- Assistant Coaches: Mary Opeloge, Ele Opeloge