Samoa wins Oceania Weightlifting Championships
Eleven out Samoa’s 13 weightlifting athletes have automatically qualified for the Commonwealth Games after strong performances in the Oceania Weightlifting Championship.
The championship kicked off last Friday and ended on Sunday with Samoa's weightlifting raking in six gold medals, two silver and three bronze.
Samoa also set two new Oceania weightlifting records through the gold medalist in the men’s 67 kg Division, Nevo Ioane who recorded a 165kg lift in the clean and jerk.
Nevo Ioane dedicated his outstanding achievement to his father who recently passed away.
John Tafi won gold in the men’s 73 kg division while also smashing the previous record in the clean and jerk and said that his hard work in getting ready for the competition has paid off with the new milestone achieved.
Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, the coach of Samoa Weightlifting said in an interview that he is proud of Team Samoa’s performance in the Oceania Championships.
“I’m proud that even though many of our team are young and inexperienced, they have made their nation proud with such an amazing outing at the virtual Oceania Championship,” he said.
He also added that the 11 medalists have automatically qualified for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in the United Kingdom next year.
Tuaopepe added that for the athletes who could not qualify for the Commonwealth Games through the Oceania Championships, they will get a second chance come December for the Commonwealth Championship.
The weightlifting coach also said that the team will celebrate the victory with a fun day at the beach and unwind before they prepare for the upcoming Commonwealth Championships in December.
“After the fantastic results we achieved, it’s time to take a breather from training and relax. It is also part of their training to once in a while take time off and recuperate after an international event,” he added.
The Results of Samoa’s Medalists are as follows. In the Men’s: Nevo Ioane Gold Medal 67kg, Duncan Laulua Bronze 67kg, John Tafi Gold Medal 73kg, Tovio Ah Chong Bronze Medal 73kg, Avatu Opeloge Bronze Medal 76kg, Don Opeloge Gold 96kg division, Jack Opeloge Gold in the 102kg division.
Women’s: Imoasina Pelenato, silver medal 87 kg women; Feagaiga Stowers, gold in the women's 87-plus kg with Iuniara Sipaia taking silver.
The presentation of the medals by the Oceania Weightlifting to Samoa will be held in two weeks’ time at the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (SASNOC) office.