Top 2 lifters owe success to mates

NATIONAL weightlifting coach Jo Vueti has credited the local lifters for helping Manueli Tulo and Maria Liku qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

He said if it wasn't for the 10 local lifters, Tulo and Liku would not have qualified for the Olympics.

Vueti said the local lifters, despite training with limited resources in a village on a small island , managed to do what others with better resources were not able to do.

"On behalf of Manueli Tulo, Maria Liku and all of Fiji, I would like to thank all of the young local lifters for their efforts in the Oceania Championships in Samoa last week," he said.

"Seruwaia Malani (48kg), Arieta Mudunavoce (53kg), Teresa Ella Kula Tauwai (58kg), Julia Ana Timi (63kg), Isikeli Dau (56kg), Charlie Lolohea (69kg), Tevita Wanono Tawai (69kg), Paula Peniasi Taqua (77kg), Mesake Raivui (85kg), Josefa Atekini Vueti (94kg) and New Caledonia based Apolonia Vaivai (75kg) made this dream possible."

He said their achievements in Samoa were more than what was expected of the national team.

"Fiji won the Best Female competition, Best Male competition and Best Junior team awards at the Oceania Championship.

"This was something we did not expect because there were other teams there like Australia, New Zealand, Nauru and Guam that have better facilities to train and better resources.

"But we trained in Baba Village in Levuka on Ovalau that is a small island and we have a small gym with limited resources but we managed to win awards.

"This is quite a remarkable achievement for Fiji and its all thanks to our young lifters."

Vueti said nearly all the local lifters managed to set new personal bests at the meet and it was bonus for Fiji.

Meanwhile, Tulo, Liku and Vaivai will leave for New Caledonia tomorrow to train at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in preparation for the Olympics.

"This is part of their final preparation for the Olympics and we know how important the next five weeks will be for these lifters."

Vaivai is the back-up for Liku in case she gets injured while Peni Taqua is the back-up for Tulo but will train in Baba Village in Levuka as he is also teaching there.

"The three that are going to New Caledonia know what to expect from the coaches there because they are have trained there before and so it should be ok for them," he said.

Fiji Times Online:

Arin Kumar
Friday, June 15, 2012


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