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Editorial: Cikamatana Biggest Loser In Weightlifting Standoff

It will take some convincing to get Eileen Cikama­tana back in sync with Weightlifting Fiji. She is so determined that she aborted everything even opting to represent another country in
04 Nov 2018 12:37
Editorial: Cikamatana Biggest Loser In Weightlifting Standoff
Eileen Cikama­tana

It will take some convincing to get Eileen Cikama­tana back in sync with Weightlifting Fiji.

She is so determined that she aborted everything even opting to represent another country in future.

She captured the headline in April this year after be­coming the first Fijian to win a gold medal in weight­lifting at the Commonwealth Games.

Her future was in indeed bright and Weightlifting Fiji has plans for her with the prime target being in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

But everything turned sour after she supported the stand by her Levuka Weightlifting Club in disagreeing with the appointment of Iranian Hossein Tavakoli as the new national coach.

They have been suspended by Weightlifting Fiji for their stand and while the Levuka Weighting Club con­tinues to bark in the wilderness on her behalf, Cikama­tana is the biggest loser in this standoff.

Already she has lost so much that the only way out for her is to rejoin Weightlifting Fiji.

Ever since she severed ties with Weightlifting Fiji, she lost her International Olympic Committee (IOC) scholarship which allowed her to train at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Noumea, New Caledonia.

As of now she continues to train in Noumea but her parents are funding it.

She has already missed out on the World Junior Cham­pionships this year in July, where she would have won the gold medal and become world champion.

She has also missed out on the World Senior Champi­onships starting on Thursday in Turkmenistan, where she would have competed in the 81kg category. Had she been there she would have won the World Champion­ships by 25kg at least as she is in the process breaking the world junior record and possibly the world senior record.

In addition, Cikamatana will not be able to compete at next year’s World Juniors in Suva and will also miss out on the World Senior Championships.

She is no longer eligible to compete for Fiji at the To­kyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Unfortunately, opportunities continue to slip from her grasp.

The best thing for her is team up with Weightlifting Fiji again who are on the roll.

In the last two months, 803 students from around Fiji took part largest talent identification programme con­ducted by WF.

This is part of the Oceania Talent Identification Pro­gramme (OTIP) and fully supported by the Internation­al Weightlifting Federation.

In addition, WF vice-president Della Shaw-Elder is officiating at the 2018 International Weightlifting Fed­eration (IWF) Senior World Championships currently underway in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Invited by the IWF, Shaw-Elder will also present a pro­gress update to the IWF Congress, on the 2019 IWF Jun­ior World Championships which will be held in Suva on June 1-8.

Weightlifting Fiji could perhaps have done more to sort out this matter before it escalated. Sometimes of­ficials in some sports focus so much on rules and power that they lose sight of those who compete.

But there is also a process for clubs like Levuka to fol­low. Those who adhere to the rules will get the benefits.

All those close to Cikamatana including Oceania Weightlifting general secretary Paul Coffa and former mentor Jo Vueti should convince her to fall back in line.

Otherwise Eileen will continue to be the loser.

OSEA BOLA

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj




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