Samoa Lifters Set New Records

L-R: Koliata Petelo, Don Opeloge, Iuniarra Sipaia, Petunu Opeloge and Sanele Mao
L-R: Koliata Petelo, Don Opeloge, Iuniarra Sipaia, Petunu Opeloge and Sanele Mao

After seven years of not participating in International Weightlifting Federation World Championships team Samoa came out with satisfying results.

President and Coach of the Samoa Weightlifting Federation (SWF) said that they need to participate in all of the World Championships, especially in preparation for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo Japan.

“The whole point of taking a team there is to qualify our lifters for the Olympic games,” he told Samoa Global News in an interview.

“So four of our lifters have been qualified to go on to the next round because this is just the first qualification tournament and there are five tournaments that we have to surpass before we are officially qualified for the Olympics in 2020,” said Tuaopepe.

All but one member of the Samoa Weightlifting team qualified through the first round.

“Sanele Mao bombed out in his clean and jerk; he was very unlucky in that round”

“The other four, Don Opeloge, Koriata Petelo, Petunu Opeloge and one female Iuniarra Sipaia have gone to the next level and have qualified their first round.

“Don Opeloge reset all the Juniors and Commonwealth records with Clean & Jerk of 190kg, Snatched of 147kg and total of 337.

“Koriata Petelo set a new Commonwealth, Oceania Senior record in the 102kg men division, he snatched 155kg, 193kg Clean & Jerk and a total of 348kg.

“Iuniarra Sipaia set three new records as well in the women 87+kg she snatched 107kg, clean and jerk of 143 and total of 250kg so she set three new records for the Oceania and three new senior records for the Commonwealth.”

Tuaopepe said they jumped straight back to training once they got back from the World Senior Championship.

“We are back to heavy training already to prepare for our second Olympic qualification that will be held in China next year in February,” he said.

“And all of these tournaments that we are participating is also a good chance for our lifters to prepare for the Pacific Games that will be held here in July.

“After the tournament in Turkmenistan I realised that it is a must for us to compete at the World Championship every year.”

“It’s not because we want experience but it’s because it keeps pulling us up higher and it shows us exactly where we stand in the world,” he said.

“I mean we can stay in these tournaments and say we are the champions but now that we have gone after seven years I see clearly see now where we stand in the world so we must go to the world championship.

“So after seven years since we haven’t participated in the World Championships I was amazed at how our lifters were able to put Samoa back on top.

“So the trip was a success and we are happy to participate over and over again.”