With 13 gold medals, eight silvers and five bronze, President and Coach of Samoa Weightlifting Federation, Tuaopepe Asiata Wallwork, is proud of his team’s performance at the Vanuatu Mini Games 2017.
Tuaopepe said even though they weren’t able to meet their target, he was happy about his lifters performance.
“Overall it was a very good performance even though it was below our target which was 15 gold medals,” he told the Samoa Observer.
“But we let go of two gold medals which was my own lifters fault, they missed two of those gold medals.
“There were divisions that two of the lifters lost one gold medal each in.
“So we didn’t achieve the target that was set before leaving for Vanuatu.
“But in saying that, there were great performances from the lifters and the young juniors who have just joined the sports this year, but they put on their best performance.”
He added there were many highlights of the games.
“We attempted two youth world records which were done by Feagaiga Stowers,” Tuaopepe said.
“She almost had it and that would have been another highlight of it.
“Our best performance was Lauititi Lui of the heavy weight, he broke all six South Pacific Games records and on top of that, he lifted 400kilos, that’s the most anyone from the Oceania has totaled in any division.
“It’s the biggest total done by any lifters within the whole region of the Oceania and as of now, he is officially ranked number one in the commonwealth and he is leading by 15kilos.
“He was outstanding and so was everyone else, but it’s a pity we just fell short of two of the gold medals.”
Tuaopepe said one of the juniors that surprised him was 16-year-old Sikolasitika Isaia.
“We didn’t expect a medal from her, but she won two silver medals in the light weight 58kilos,” he said.
“Her performance was great for a first time lifter and she’s a student at Chanel College.
“So next we are training for the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia.
“One thing we are aiming for are gold medals.
“We have everyone that will be going to the Commonwealth Games ranked from one to three.
“My full team that I will be taking is all ranked in the top three, so we have a big job ahead of us and we are starting our training now.
“Then we will break one day for Christmas and one day for New Years and then go hard on training until April.”
• Nevo Ioane – 3 gold medals
• Don Opeloge – 2 golds
• Sanele Mao – 2 golds
• Lauititi Lui – 3 golds
• Feagaiga Stowers – 3 golds
• Siaosi Leuo – 1 gold
• Sekolositika – 2
• Siaosi Leuo – 2
• Koliata Petelo – 2
• Don Opeloge – 1
• Sanele Mao – 1
• Lesila Fiapule – 3
• Tovia Opeloge – 3