Whenever Samoa’s national weightlifting team compete at regional and global events, the nation can be sure to expect medals to be raining down and records to be broken.
The recent Samoa Games held in Apia was no different.
Samoa’s golden boy and SGN 2022 People of the Year, Don Opeloge, set a new Commonwealth Games record for the men’s 102kg Clean + Jerk category with a lift of 206kg.
Don Opeloge joined his Commonwealth Gold Medalist siblings, Niusila and Ele, with a Commonwealth Gold of his own at last years 2022 Birmingham games for the men’s 96 kg event. In 2018, at only 19, he won the Commonwealth silver medal in the men’s 85 kg event at the Gold Coast games.
Also at the recent Samoa Games, Nevo Ioane set a new Oceania Record in the men’s Clean + Jerk for the 67kg category.
Adding to the senior members’ record-breaking feat was the discovery of new talent for Samoa Weightlifting, with 17-year-old Fomai Faimanifo Moresi Te’o being awarded the Best Junior Lifter of the Samoa Games.
President of the Samoa Weightlifting Association and Coach of Samoa’s national weightlifting team, Tuaopepe Asiata Jerry Wallwork, praised the return of the Samoa Games and said SWF capitalised on the event – as a test and trials for upcoming International games.
“Our athletes are now well on track for their preparation towards the Pacific Games and the Olympic Qualifiers.
Tuaopepe Asiata praised the “stellar performances” of his seniors and said all athletes performed well, especially the younger up and coming ones.
Samoa’s most successful national sports coach continues to push existing champions to higher levels, while never failing to identify and develop the next generation of local national lifters.
“We are right on track in our preparations and are now looking at the Commonwealth Championships in India and also the Olympic qualifier which is our first international for this year,” said Tuaopepe Asiata.
The SWF President acknowledged the impressive performances by Samoa’s Junior Lifters, who are currently lifting at Junior Oceania and Junior Commonwealth levels.
Tuaopepe says a new group of national weightlifters is being developed and one of the names to look out for is Fomai Faimanifo Moresi Te’o who caught the attention of the legendary Paul Coffa who was in Apia for the Samoa Games.
“Its not just about his lifting, it’s also about his attitude, the way he approaches the platform and everything else,” said Tuaopepe of Samoa’s newest lifting sensation.
The SWF President says the teenager will be the next super for Samoa, aiming to make his mark at the 2026 Commonwealth Games.