Weightlifting Coach pleased with Samoa's performance overall

When a team picks up 16 different gold medals from one tournament, more often than not you would consider the event a raging success.

But the standards the Samoa Weightlifting team set themselves mean that while coach Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork is pretty pleased overall, he wanted more.

“We had a few disappointments [on Saturday]," Tuaopepe said.

“But some of them really did their best, it was their personal bests and they gave it their all."

The team won 16 golds, seven silvers and 10 bronzes in the Pacific Games portion of the four-in-one International Weightlifting Championships, which were hold at Gym 1 in Tuana'imato this week.

“We had a target of close to 20, we could have reached it," Tuaopepe said.

But he said it is still Samoa's best ever Pacific Games result, beating the 14 golds achieved in the 2007 South Pacific Games.

“If we didn’t achieve the results that were expected I do apologise, but we did give it our best."

He said having set their expectations for the tournament so high, even if they didn't meet them they still performed well.

“We’ve gotta be happy with that, it is still a good result.

“But in saying that we’ve got the Olympics in mind and in sight, and we can’t afford mistakes like this.

“They’ve gotta get their act together, or we’re going to be left behind at the Olympic Games."

Tuaopepe said there is a lot to learn from the experience.

“When you’re neck and neck, we’ve gotta make those lifts count.

“And unfortunately some of my lifters did not make the lifts count when we needed it.

“If you’re looking at the World Championships or the Olympics, you’ve gotta pull out a special, extraordinary lift in order to win that medal."

The Samoa Weightlifting Team's next event is the Senior World Championships in Thailand in September.

“It’s an Olympic qualifier, and it’s probably the last major qualifier for this year.

“We need to take a top team because they need to challenge themselves with the best of the best."

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