Don Opeloge fifth at I.W.F. Grand Prix
Don Opeloge finished fifth in the 96kgs men category at the International Weightlifting Federation (I.W.F.) Grand Prix in Lima, Peru on Monday morning.
The Junior World Champion had personal best lifts of 160 kg in the snatch and 201 kg in the clean & jerk for a 361 kg total, all new Commonwealth and Oceania records.
That total ranks him 29th in the world, and is an impressive feat given he was the youngest of the eight competitors in Peru at age 20.
His global standing improves to 18th when compared with just one athlete per country, as will be the case at the Olympics next year.
It also marks a 10 kg improvement on his previous best attempts at the World Championships in September.
Opeloge made 160 kg in the snatch with his third attempt, placing him fifth in the discipline.
He opened with a 193 kg clean & jerk, a slightly wobbly attempt which got the green lights from two out of three judges.
Opeloge then moved up to 201 kg for his second attempt, and got the bar up with his jerk but couldn’t control it.
He succeeded with his third though, locking in fourth place in the clean & jerk and fifth in the total.
The Grand Prix is a prestigious I.W.F. event, with invitations being sent to the top 10 in the world in each category.
As such, the result will be a boost to Opeloge as he works towards the 2020 Olympics, having already qualified for the tournament in Tokyo.
Opeloge will be a part of the Samoa Water Authority Samoa Weightlifting Team travelling to Tianjin, China next month for the I.W.F. World Cup to be held from the 10th to the 13th of December.