SPORTS

Talented Mekula Impresses At International Weightlifting Federation’s Junior World Championships

Other members of Team Fiji include Rebecca Johns (64kg), Merewalesi Vusonitokalau (81kg), Helen Seipua (87+Kg), Maika Taukeinikoro (61kg) Samuela Nasila (67kg), Maloni Sadranu (73kg) and Timothy Vakuruivalu (96kg).
04 Jun 2019 16:04
Talented Mekula Impresses At International Weightlifting Federation’s Junior World Championships
From left: Team Fiji lifter Wini Mekula with strength and conditioning coach Henry Elder at the FMF Gymnasium in Suva on June 3, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Wini Mekula did not in her wildest dreams imagine herself representing Fiji in weightlifting just three months after taking up the sport.

But when her chance came at the International Weightlifting Federation’s Junior World Championships in Suva yesterday, she took it with the poise of an experienced lifter.

Mekula was understandably nervous before her lift in the 59kg category but fought through it to clear 70kg in the clean and jerk and 55kg in the snatch events.

The Lutu, Wainimala, Naitasiri native said the support of her parents, present to watch her, and Weightlifting Fiji officials has helped her stay focussed on her goals.

“I did not see myself becoming an international athlete for Fiji in weightlifting but I think it is part of God’s plan so I will work hard to achieve more success,” the Adi Cakobau School student said.

“The main thing I’ve learned from the competition is the importance of being focussed and it has also helped me build some confidence for future events.”

Weightlifting Fiji officials spoke highly about Mekula’s potential prior to the Junior World Championships, though few expected her to start so well in her first competition.

One person not surprised, however, was Team Fiji weightlifting Strength and Conditioning coach, Henry Elder.

Elder said Mekula, discovered during a talent identification programme in February, was an example of the talent in present Fiji.

“The signs at this meet have been very positive and we’re excited about the future. Remember our team is made up of athletes getting their first taste of international competition,” he said

“Some of them had butterflies at the start of the tournament and dropped a few lifts but this experience will help build their confidence for future competitions.”

Mekula’s next international outing will be at July’s Pacific Games in Samoa, where she aims to improve her lift to 75-80kg in the clean and jerk and 60-65kg in the snatch.

Other members of Team Fiji include Rebecca Johns (64kg), Merewalesi Vusonitokalau (81kg), Helen Seipua (87+Kg), Maika Taukeinikoro (61kg) Samuela Nasila (67kg), Maloni Sadranu (73kg) and Timothy Vakuruivalu (96kg).

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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