PACIFIC ISLAND WEIGHTLIFTERS SEARCHING FOR GOLD
42 Vanuatu Pacific Mini Games Gold medallists are in a special training camp at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Mont Dore, New Caledonia, in preparation for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast from the 4th to 16th April.
The 20 institute lifters plus the top lifters of Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand will be training together for a 10 day period in order to fine tune their preparations for the Commonwealth Games.
Apart from Paul Coffa who coaches the 20 resident lifters of the Institute (from different island nations), three of the leading coaches of the region, Jerry Wallwork from Samoa, Joe Vueti from Fiji and Tina Ball from New Zealand are here coaching their own athletes who have qualified for the Games.
Of the lifters taking part in this elite training camp at the Institute, quite a number of them are ranked first and second in the Commonwealth. Some of them will be trying to win back to back gold on the Gold Coast.
Some of these lifters are as follows in the women:
- 53kg - Dika Toua from PNG – gold medallist from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games going for back to back gold.
- 58kg – Jenly Wini from the Solomon Islands ranking number one in the Commonwealth. She could make history for the Solomon Islands by winning their first ever medal at a Commonwealth Games.
- 69kg – Apolonia Vaivai from Fiji – bronze medallist from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games - is ranking number one presently in the Commonwealth
- 90kg - Eileen Cikamantana from Fiji – one of the best prospects in the Oceania region, gold medallist from AIMAG ranks number one in the Commonwealth
- 90kg - Tracey Lambrechs from New Zealand – Bronze medallist from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games
- +90kg – Feagaiga Stowers from Samoa– 17 years of age ranks second in the Commonwealth just behind Laurel Hubbard from New Zealand (another Oceania regional lifter) who is favourite to win the gold.
In the men:
- 62kg – Morea Baru from PNG– number one lifter in the Commonwealth in this category. He is favourite to win gold.
- 69kg – Nevo Ioane from Samoa also favourite to win gold and ranks first in the Commonwealth. He won bronze at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
- 85kg – Don Opeloge – young teenager from Samoa, ranking second in the Commonwealth has got his eyes firmly set on the gold medal.
- 94kg – Steven Kari from PNG – looking to win back to back gold.
- 105kg – David Katoatau from Kiribati – looking to win back to back gold. He is being pushed by Sanele Mao from Samoa who is currently ranking first in the Commonwealth.
- +105kg – it will be the battle of the giants. Currently ranking number one is Lauititi Lui from Samoa. Just behind him is David Liti from New Zealand. Both of them part of this elite training camp in New Caledonia including the silver medallist at the last two commonwealth games Itte Detenamo from Nauru.
Apart from this, there are many other lifters at the elite training camp ranking third and fourth in the Commonwealth.
This elite training camp is financially supported by the IWF.
Office of the Oceania Weightlifting Federation