Weightlifters ready to take on Fiji
The Samoa Weightlifting Federation President, Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, is confident his team will do their best when they take on Fiji this weekend in the Oceania Weightlifting Federation League Email Tournament.
The tournament heads into its seventh round with Samoa taking on Fiji, Kiribati is up against Australia, New Zealand versus Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands versus Pacific Team 1 and Nauru versus Pacific Team 2.
Tuaopepe is confident that Samoa will cement its lead at the top of the table when they take on Fiji.
"I am confident that the lifters will do well so we're very happy, with that we're confident so we'll take this meeting with Fiji and cement our lead even higher and get ready for next year," he said.
Keeping Samoa’s weightlifting team focused and motivated during the holidays is a challenge, according to Tuaopepe, nevertheless they are determined.
"I think we're at the last two weeks of the year, it's very hard to keep the team motivated and focused after such a long year.
“So many competitions, especially the online challenges. But we're still trying to keep in this, they're still in camp and they're still on lockdown, and they are trying to finish off their last meet against Fiji this Friday night.
"We have our last meet against Fiji and then from there we have a one-week break before we start off again the following week, just before the new year.”
The team’s primary goal is to come out the overall winners of the tournament and Samoa is on track to do that, having amassed over 6,000 in aggregate scores and lead with 18 points.
Tuaopepe confirmed that the team has its eye on becoming the outright winners and currently lead Australia, which is running second by over 4,000 points.
“I think they're still motivated because we need to win overall. At the moment Samoa has a very high lead even if we don't compete here we will still be in the lead. So even if we set this one out, we've got so many points, we've got 4,000 points that we’re ahead of Australia. We have a big year next year.”
According to Mr Tuaopepe, the overall tournament winner will win US$10,000 with second place US$5,000 and third US$2,000.
Samoan weightlifters have already won a total of $18, 525 tala in prize money from the recent Online Cup competition.
Currently, there are discussions at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) level to host the Junior World Championships early next year with the format similar to the Oceania Weightlifting Federation League Email Tournament.
Tuaopepe confirmed the discussions and added that the tentative dates are February 2021.
"They are actually talking now in the International Weightlifting Federation to host the Junior World Championships similar to this online live competition,” he said.
“They're looking at around February because of COVID-19 there is no way we can travel from now until May maybe.
"So for February next year we are gonna have the Junior World Championships via virtual competition.
“So we are looking forward to that and on top of that, we're still looking and trying to qualify more athletes for the Olympic Games.
“Sanele Mao and Iuniarra Sipaia have to qualify. At the moment we have Don Opeloge and Nevo Ioane.
"Apart from that, everything is on target this week to have another good performance. I think the team is looking forward to a break."