Eileen Continues to Impress
17-year-old Team Fiji weightlifter Eileen Cikamatana has won Fiji's first ever medal at World level in weightlifting, in the early hours of this morning Fiji time.
Eileen won the gold medal in the Clean & Jerk lift and a bronze medal in the Total lift.
Eileen was competing in the 69kg Weight Division at the IWF World Youth Championship in Penang, Malaysia. She lifted 93kg in the Snatch for 4th, 122kg for Clean and Jerk for a total of 215 for bronze.
She had earlier finished fourth in the snatch on 93kg, the same lifted as China's third-placed Jing Tang who was awarded bronze due to a lighter bodyweight.
Weightlifting Fiji President Atma Maharaj said "This is a fantastic achievement by Eileen and is a fitting reward for all her hard work and sacrifices that she has made."
Eileen who hails from Tavia Village on Ovalau, started lifting in early 2015 with Joe Vueti at the High Performance Centre in Baba. She has shown a strong pedigree for weightlifting and growing from strength to strength.
In 2015 at the Pacific Games as a 16-year-old, she challenged the many veterans of the sport in the 63kg weight category and made a strong impact that she is going to be a force to reckon with.
A few months later in September 2015, she won Gold medal for Fiji in the 63kg at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Apia, Samoa.
In late January this year, just a few weeks before Cyclone Winston, she was relocated to Noumea to train with Paul Coffa at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute and has made strong improvements on her strong foundations that she had already built at Levuka.
"The family and Eileen have made a lot of sacrifices for her to fully focus on Weightlifting this year," said Atma.
"She has a great future in this sport."
He expressed Weightlifting Fiji’s heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Paul & Lilly Coffa; Fiji Government and Ministry of Sports, Peter Mazey and the Fiji National Sports Commission; Lorraine Mar & Lyndall Fisher and FASANOC; Eileen's family in Ovalau; Josefa Vueti and Wallene Powell-Vueti, Chris Yee, Sikeli Tuinamuana and Weightlifting Fiji Executives, our Weightlifting athletes and their families, supporters, sponsors and Media.
Five weightlifters are representing Fiji at the International Weightlifting Federation World Youth Championships and Commonwealth Championships which include Olympians Manueli Tulo and Apolonia Vaivai. Tulo will be competing in the 56kg category while Vaivai will be competing in the open 75kg category. Ulina Saqone in 58kg and Taniela Rainibogi in the 85kg will be competing in the Junior and Open categories. Eileen Cikamatana’s performances at the World Youth Championships will count as results in the Commonwealth Championships in the Youth, Junior and Open Categories.