Opeloge and Stowers: Samoa's golden generation
Samoa’s gold medallists from the 2019 International Weightlifting Federation Junior World Championships are both very happy to have performed so well for their country.
The Team returned from Fiji triumphant on Monday afternoon, after standout performances from Don Opeloge and Feagaiga Stowers.
Opeloge, 20, became Samoa’s first world champion weightlifter after taking home gold for his total and clean and jerk in the 89 kg Men category.
He said he was excited to have made history in the sport.
“Thank you God for the strength you give our team. We made this gold for Samoa."
Opeloge also picked up the overall Best Male Lifter award, which was judged over all ten categories.
He said after a poor snatch which left him fifth in the standings, he had to fight hard to come back in the clean and jerk.
Opeloge said the result sets him up for the Pacific Games next month, where he wants another gold in front of his own country.
He thanked his family and all of Samoa for their support, as well as the Samoa Water Authority, S.A.S.N.O.C. and the Government of Samoa for funding the team.
Stowers, 18, won gold in the +87 kg Women snatch, and silver in both the clean and jerk and total competitions.
She said she was very happy to have won gold.
“I was shocked, I didn’t think I would get a gold medal for the snatch.
“It’s made me happy, representing my country, my family."
She said it shows she needs to train hard for the Pacific Games in order to repeat the result.
Stowers thanked her coach, Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork.
“He’s a good man, he cares for us, he’s like a father to everyone. He's the best."
She also thanked the President of Samoa Victim Support Group, "Mama" Siliniu Lina Chang.
“I’d like to thank her for everything, she’s the one who’s pushing me to do my training every day. And also the kids from the Campus of Hope, my sisters and brothers there.
“I’d like to thank them for all their prayers and fasting for me, I lift for them."
Stowers said she can't wait to compete in front of them, and all of Samoa at the Pacific Games in July.