Weightlifters enter regional online competition

A total of 13 Samoan weightlifters will represent the country at the regional online Oceania Championships which kick off this Thursday.

Team Weightlifting Samoa is looking to perform and earn medals in this online event so that they can earn automatic qualification for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next year.

The President of the Samoa Weightlifting Federation, Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork told the Samoa Observer that his team is excited and ready for the competition ahead. 

“We have been preparing and gearing up for the Oceania Championships since the start of this year’s Oceania Weightlifting Online League at the beginning of the year," he said.

“Also our lifters were disappointed they could not make it to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics due to Covid19, that’s why they’re taking this next competition very seriously.

“Due to Covid restrictions we weren’t allowed to travel to any international competitions, but thankfully technology saved the day through the online Oceania Championships that will see Samoa compete with some of the top lifters in the Oceania region."

One of the 13 weightlifters who will be representing Samoa at the Oceania Championships also qualified for the Olympic Games but couldn’t take part due to fears over Covid19 infections in Japan.

Don Opeloge from the “Opeloge” weightlifting family will be competing in the 96 kilograms A category and says that he is fired up to once again be able to compete after missing out on the Tokyo Summer Olympics. 

“I was crushed when it was announced that all local athletes who were able to qualify for the Olympics were not allowed to go because of the deadly Covid19 pandemic, but the Oceania Championships has given me the motivation to keep striving for excellence in the sport of weightlifting,” said Opeloge.

Another son of the Opeloge family who will also take part in the Oceania Championships is Jack Opeloge, who is set to compete in the 102 kilograms A division.

The weightlifter said in an interview that he knows he has a lot of expectations on his shoulders because of the reputation that his family has in the weightlifting arena, he is positive he’ll do his family name proud at the Oceania Championships.

“I pray to God to lend me his strength to maybe get a medal for Samoa and make my coaches and teammates proud,” he said.

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