Weightlifters stay focussed, target Tokyo Olympics

It's one thing to reach the top and be number one.  It's quite another to stay there and be consistent at being the best.

That's the challenge for Team Samoa who remain on top of the Oceania Weightlifting Championship 2020.

But the President and coach of the S.W.A. Samoa Weightlifting team, Tuaopepe Asiata Wallwork, said they have no intention of lifting the foot off the pedal. 

"We are now coming up with final tournaments for this year 2020. We are focused on performing well to top off 2020," he said.

"It has been a tough year of preparation for the team. Covid-19 had restricted us from traveling and competing at international tournaments."

Still that has not moved or changed the team's resolve to make Samoa proud.

Two athletes have already confirmed spots for the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, with the coach adding they want to qualify two more.

"It has not deterred our program and focus and commitment," Tuaopepe said. 

"The team has all improved greatly this year. Being able to live together within a training camp environment has benefited the team much.

He is confident that Samoa will be able to secure another medal if the 2021 Olympic goes ahead.

"Realistically we now have athletes ranked in the top 3 in the world which means we have a great chance of securing a medal if next year's Olympic games will go-ahead," he said.

The challenge for the S.W.A. weightlifting team is to maintain their focus on their training at a time when there is so much uncertainty.

"It is very difficult to maintain focus and a training plan with so much uncertainty with Covid globally. This is very tough on the athletes to keep training when they are uncertain whether there are any competitions," he said.

The team is training from Monday to Saturday, their morning session starts at 5am to 7.30 am, followed by the afternoon session that starts at 5.30pm to 7.30pm. 

They always start with a prayer at 4.45 am before they start their training.

"They are living in a training camp at the S.W.A. High-Performance Training Centre (Gym 3). They are given three meals a day for the whole week. The meals consist of a lot of meat and vegetables and fruits. This is the key factor in training hard and performing."

He  acknowledged the support from everyone who helps out especially the Samoa Water Authority.

"We thank Samoa Water Authority for the continued sponsorship that has enabled the team to be in training camp with meals and all that they provide. Taking this opportunity to thank the following sponsors who have made it possible for us to reach the level we have this far, the Government of Samoa, SASNOC, Samoa Paints Limited, and Pure Pacific Water."

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