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Eileen: More To Come

Eileen: More To Come
Mum Makitalena Cikamatana escorts Eileen out of the Carrara Indoor Sports Complex in Gold Coast, Australia on April 9, 2018. Photo: Anasilini Ratuva.
April 10
12:52 2018

After a lapse of 16 years, Team Fiji has finally won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Weightlifter Eileen Cikamatana in the women’s 90 kilogramme category lifted a total of 233kg to edge out her Australian rival Kaity Fassina while Clementine Meukeugni of Cameron claimed the bronze at the Gold Coast, Australia yesterday.

The 18-year-old Fijian’s final two lifts in the clean and jerk were simply academic, having secured first place with her first effort of 130kg.

“This is not the end, just the start,” Cikamatana said as she refused to be carried away with the win.

However, she could not hold back her tears when she walked towards the podium to receive her gold medal.

“It was do-or-die for me,” she told SUNsports

Her parents Sevanaia and Makitalena along with sister Roselyn and aunt Luisa Rauto watched from the grandstand.

“Looking at my parents cheering me on, I could even hear their voices while I was lifting it really boosted me,

“I’m always away from them as I train with Paul Coffa at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in New Caledonia.

“I want to dedicate this win to all Fijians back at home who are affected by the flood and cyclone.”

She also paid tribute to Coffa and Joe Vueti, and their families, who looked after her when she was staying away from home.

“It means a lot to me, they’ve done so much, I just want to thank them for everything.”

 

PROUD DAD

As Cikamatana walked out of the Carrara Indoor Sports complex, her family accorded her the i-vakamamaca (iTaukei tradition of recognising her achievement).

Proud moment for dad Sevanaia Cikamatana as he congratulates his daughter Eileen in Gold Coast, Australia on April 9, 2018. Photo: Anasilini Ratuva

Proud moment for dad Sevanaia Cikamatana as he congratulates his daughter Eileen in Gold Coast, Australia on April 9, 2018. Photo: Anasilini Ratuva

She was dressed up in masi (tapa) and was handed a tabua (whale’s tooth). The celebration was not only joined by members of the Team Fiji contingent but other Pacific athletes as well.

Dad Sevanaia told SUNsports that his daughter has fulfilled her promise to him.

“When she first brought in the consent letter for us to agree for her to join the sport, it took me a while to think before I agreed because she was still in primary school.

“My words to her were if you join this sport you have to reach its highest level and she has done it, I’m proud of my daughter.”

 

OVALAU CELEBRATION

Eileen Cikamatana with the Team Fiji contingent at the Games Village in Gold Coast, Australia on April 9, 2018. Photo: Anasilini Ratuva

Eileen Cikamatana with the Team Fiji contingent at the Games Village in Gold Coast, Australia on April 9, 2018. Photo: Anasilini Ratuva

Her family and relatives have already planned a grand celebration in Ovalau when Cikamatana returns from the Commonwealth Games for a short break before she resumes her traning in New Caledonia.

Weightlifting Fiji in a statement expressed their gratitutude to Government, Fiji National Sports Commission, FASANOC, sponsors, the media and the people of Fiji for their continuous support.
– Edited by Leone Cabenatabua.

Feedback:  anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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