16 July 2023 Apia Samoa. Don Opeloge has won gold for the men’s 102kg category at the Commonwealth Championships in Dehli, India.
Samoa’s golden boy lifted a total of 379kg, beating India’s Singh Harcharan and Australia’s Leon Vogeler-Schmidt who settled for bronze.
Responding to questions from Samoa Global News from India, Samoa Weightlifting Federation President and Head Coach, Tuaopepe Asiata Jerry Wallwork said this was a fantastic performance by the Commonwealth games gold medalist.
“Don was purely outstanding,” said Tuaopepe. “A true champion who stepped up when needed. It was a world class performance and certainly looking great for Paris qualification.”
Qualification names for the 2024 Olympic games will be finalised after Samoa competes in five mandatory IWF Events. The next stop being the IWF Senior World Championships set for Saudi Arabia in September 2023.
In other events Tuaopepe conveyed that Maeu Nanai Livi had also competed in the men’s 96kg, however, suffered an unfortunate injury that forced him out of the event.
“He was leading after the snatch, but unfortunately a serious back injury prevented him from finishing the Clean and Jerk,” said Tuaopepe. “Very unlucky.”
Still to compete for Team Samoa are the two women representatives; Iuniarra Sipaia in the 87kg and Lesila Fiapule for the 87+kg.
Sanele Mao is also set to compete in the men’s 109kg event tomorrow.
Tuaopepe Asiata acknowledged the Government of Samoa, SASNOC, and the Australian High Commission Office in Samoa.
“Thank you for the support and for making this trip to India possible.”
“Aemaise le tapuaiga a Samoa. O upu a le atunuu o faiva e tapuaia e faapena ona ae manuia.”