2015 Pacific Games, Port Moresby, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
4 - 18th July 2015
PORT MORESBY,01 FEBRUARY 2017 (POST COURIER)--Three Papua New Guineans are among 45 Vanuatu Pacific Mini Games Gold medallists in a special training camp at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Mont Dore, New Caledonia, in preparation for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.
The Commonwealth Games will be held on the Gold Coast from April 4-16.
They are Dika Toua (female), a gold medallist from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games going for a back to back gold in the women’s 53kg division, Steven Kari looking to win back to back gold in the 94kg division and Morea Baru, the number one lifter in the 62kg category who is favourite to win gold.
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 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 in the women are Jenly Wini from the Solomon Islands ranking number one in the Commonwealth in the 58kg. She could make history for the Solomon Islands by winning their first-ever medal at a Commonwealth Games, Apolonia Vaivai from Fiji, a bronze medallist in the 69kg division from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games is ranked number one currently in the Commonwealth and Eileen Cikamantana from Fiji is one of the best prospects in the Oceania region in the 90kg, a gold medallist from AIMAG ranks number one in the Commonwealth.
The others are Tracey Lambrechs from New Zealand, a Bronze medallist in the 90kg division from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Feagaiga Stowers from Samoa in the 90kg division, 17 years of age ranks second in the Commonwealth behind Laurel Hubbard from New Zealand (another Oceania regional lifter) who is favourite to win the gold.
In the men, Nevo Ioane from Samoa is also favourite to win gold in the 69kg division and ranks first in the Commonwealth. He won bronze at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
In the 85kg category, Don Opeloge, a teenager from Samoa, who is ranked second in the Commonwealth has got his eyes firmly set on the gold.
David Katoatau from Kiribati is looking to win back to back gold in the 105kg category. He is being pushed by Sanele Mao from Samoa who is currently ranking first in the Commonwealth. In the +105kg category, 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 are part of this elite training camp in New Caledonia including the silver medallist at the last two Commonwealth Games and Itte Detenamo from Nauru.
There are other lifters at the elite training camp ranking third and fourth in the Commonwealth. This elite training camp is financially supported by the International Weightlifting Federation.....PACNEWS