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Only Way Is Up

Only Way Is Up
Eileen Cikamatana. Photo: Weightlifting Fiji
September 12
11:00 2017

A total of 8 gold 1 silver and 3 bronze medals is Weightlifting Fiji’s best international performance ever at this level competing against 35 nations;

Our five lifters won 3 gold in the Commonwealth Championships, 5 in the Oceania Championship;

Apolonia Vaivai was declared the best senior female lifter in the Oceania Championships;

Eileen Cikamatana won the best female junior lifter in both the Commonwealth and Oceania Junior competitions;

Eileen is ranked world number one in the junior and in the top three in the World in the senior rankings in the 90Kg.

Apolonia is in the top eight in the world in the senior 69Kg.

Vaivai and Cikamatana set a total of 7 Oceania and 2 Commonwealth Records.

Manueli Tulo 9th gold medal in the Oceania Championships since 2010 has made him the second most prolific all-time performer;

Poama Qaqa won gold in the 62kg in the Oceania Championship and two bronze medals;

Taniela Rainibogi won a silver medal in the Oceania Junior and a bronze in the Oceania Senior in the 85Kg weight division.

The excellent performances by the five lifters at the Commonwealth and Oceania Championships in Gold Coast confirms Weightlifting Fiji’s signature brand, “The Only Way Is Up!!”

The five Fiji lifters won a total of 8 gold medals – 3 in the Commonwealth Championships and 5 in the Oceania Championships.

Apolonia Vaivai and Eileen Cikamatana finished on top of the gold medal tally alongside India with two gold medals each in the Senior Women’s Commonwealth Championships. A total of 35 countries took part in the Commonwealth Championships.

Between Vaivai and Cikamatana they set a total of 7 Oceania and 2 Commonwealth records.

Cikamatana set 4 new senior and junior records in the Clean & Jerk lift in the 90kg class for both the Commonwealth and Oceania.

Vaivai set 5 new Oceania records in the Snatch, Clean and Jerk and total, breaking the oldest Oceania records set way back in year 2000.

In the Commonwealth Senior and Junior Championships, Cikamatana won two gold medals in the 90Kg while Vaivai won the senior 69kg weight division in very tough competitions.

In the Oceania Championships, Cikamatana won two gold medals, Vaivai won the gold in 69kg, Manueli Tulo the 56Kg gold and Poama Qaqa won the 62Kg Junior gold.

This was the 9th gold medal that Tulo has won in the Oceania Championships since 2010 to become the second most prolific all-time performer.

Qaqa also won two bronze medals – in the 62kg Commonwealth Junior and Oceania Senior.

Taniela Rainibogi won a silver medal in the Oceania Junior and a bronze in the Oceania Senior in the 85Kg weight division.

A total of 8 gold 1 Silver and 3 Bronze medals in total, in Weightlifting Fiji’s best international performance ever at this level.

In winning her gold medal, Vaivai won a Commonwealth title for 3 years in a row. She had previously won the gold medals in the 75kg weight categories at the Commonwealth Championships in Pune, India in 2015 and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2016.

Vaivai was declared the best senior female lifter in the Oceania Championships. Eileen won the best female junior lifter in both the Commonwealth and Oceania Junior competitions.

With performances so far this year, Eileen is ranked world number one in the junior and in the top three in the world in the Senior Rankings in the 90Kg. Apolonia is in the top eight in the world in the senior 69Kg.

Having such a successful tour is no reprieve for the lifters, the team flies out to Turkmenistan, on Wednesday, as part of Team Fiji to compete at its first ever Asian Indoor Championships.

Eileen, Apolonia and Tulo are amongt the 7 lifters for this team. They will be joined by Arieta Mudunavoce, Maria Mareta, Patrick Tawake Veidriyaki and Timoci Vakaruivalu.

Meanwhile all the lifters now have to await the completion of all ranking tournaments by end of October, before we will know how many of our lifters have qualified for the Commonwealth Games, which will take place at the same venue in Gold Coast in April 2018.

Weightlifting Fiji is hopeful that apart from the five lifters who competed in Gold Coast, that we may a few additional lifters who competed at the Pacific Cup International in Noumea in August and those at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games also qualify for the Commonwealth Games.

Weightlifting Fiji president Atma Maharaj, believes that Weightlifting is starting to come of age, as we now have a well-rounded programme encompassing talent identification, development programme as well our elite programme.

“Weightlifting Fiji have three very capable national coaches in Joe Vueti, Della Shaw-Elder and Henry Elder, who are working very closely to combine their unique individual experiences and strengths around Olympic lifting and Strength & Conditioning to take our lifters to new heights. We also have the services of Paul Coffa at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute where Cikamatana is currently based, after being found through one of talent identification programmes in Levuka.

“Off the platform, our very experienced and capable team of Chris Yee, Sikeli Tuinamuana, Ritesh Ratiram, and Della Shaw-Elder are leaving no stones unturned to maximise our support structures for the sport.”

Atma Maharaj, said that “Weightlifting Fiji is thankful to the Fiji Government, Fijian National Sports Commission, FASANOC, ONOC, IOC, Olympic Solidarity, International Weightlifting Federation, media and sponsors, for their faith and unwavering support for the sport. This level of unprecedented support is the catalyst for our great achievements in the recent years

“Weightlifting Fiji is grateful to the dedication and passion of the coaches, officials and their family members.”

Atma thanked all the athletes for their sacrifices, dedication, perseverance, passion and commitment to reach out to be the best. The Only Way is UP!!!! – Weightlifting

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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