Weightlifting

Cikamatana and Vaivai win gold in Weightlifting Championship

Fiji Women’s weightlifting team members Eileen Cikamatana and Apolonia Vaivai won gold medals at the Oceania Weightlifting Championships. Eileen Cikamatana won two gold medals and a silver medal and also broke the Youth Oceanic record with 112kg. Cikamatana said she did not expect the win. CIKAMATANA: ” I wasn’t expecting the win, it was an accomplishment for my […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

May 27, 2016 11:00 am

Fiji Women’s weightlifting team members Eileen Cikamatana and Apolonia Vaivai won gold medals at the Oceania Weightlifting Championships.

(Left to Right): Apolonia Vaivai and Eileen Floanna Maria Cikamatana after medal presentation at the Vodafone Arena last night. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire)
Apolonia Vaivai and Eileen Cikamatana after the medal presentation at the Vodafone Arena. (Nacanieli Tuilevuka/Newswire)

Eileen Cikamatana won two gold medals and a silver medal and also broke the Youth Oceanic record with 112kg.

Cikamatana said she did not expect the win.

CIKAMATANA: ” I wasn’t expecting the win, it was an accomplishment for my way to Rio. I would like to dedicate my win to my family here in Fiji and abroad.”

She said one of the motivating factors that helped her preparation was training early in the morning

“I felt happy when I broke the record. I am 16 years old turning 17.  I started training in 2014  and I am originally from Levuka.”

Also breaking the record in the women’s division was Vaivai Apolonia of the senior division with 114kg.

Vaivai said she’s happy with her achievements and hard work has paid off.

VAIVAI: “I’m really happy and everything has paid off . I’m really proud of my team for all the support they have given and strength, what I have been trying to do I have achieved today. It was not easy but I managed to break through but I thank her for coming up and trying to challenge me. What was in mind was to get up there and claim it, I knew it was mine so I just had to earn it.”

The Attorney General and Minister of Finance Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum presented the medals for the 69kg women’s category.

So far, Fiji has scooped ten gold medals in Oceania Weightlifting Championship.

The Oceania Weightlifting Championships is held at the Vodafone Arena in Suva.

Fiji Men’s weightlifting team scooped three gold medals and one bronze at the 2016 Oceania Weightlifting Championship last night.

Fiji’s Manueli Tulo. (Fijian Government)
Fiji’s Manueli Tulo. (Fijian Government)

Manueli Tulo won gold in the Men’s senior 56kg, Nauru took silver while Poama Qaqa of Fiji won bronze.

Tulo was not satisfied with his performance although he won gold. He admitted that his performance had a few setbacks in terms of his failing his second and third attempt at the 108kg.

TULO: “Today in training I was lifting 110,140 over 140, I was hoping to put on a show but then all of a sudden I just don’t know what happened to me.”

“To me its not the crowd pressure, I can cope with the crowd, I just don’t know what happened to me at the back during the warm up.”

Tulo dedicated the win to his wife who gave birth to their second child on Monday.

TULO: “My wife just gave birth two days ago and maybe I’m going to spend time with them and with the team as well and I’m looking forward to the five days competition.”

He said his opponent Nauru powerhouse Elson Bretchfield had provided good competition for him yesterday.

TULO: “He gave me a tough competition, he really pressurised me today (yesterday) because he knew he had a chance to beat me but I respect him.”

He said he and his team mates would waste no time in gearing up for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

TULO: “We’re going to go for a team performance after the end of the tournament and we will decide all the five countries that will be qualifying for the Olympic games.”

In the Men’s Youth 56kg category, Fiji’s Poama Qaqa won gold while Sitiveni Timi also won gold in the Men’s 56kg Junior category.

Sitiveni Timi with the gold medal lift. (Fijian Government)
Sitiveni Timi with the gold medal lift. (Fijian Government)

Meanwhile, His Excellency the President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote while officiating at the opening ceremony for the event has urged all Pacific athletes to put forth their best at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

KONROTE: “We have, as a nation, committed to being resilient, to picking ourselves up, off the rubble and moving on.”

“Indeed, members of the Fiji weightlifting team living in Levuka on Ovalau were also affected and the weightlifting hall at Baba was destroyed. No one, it seems, was spared including our sportspeople.”

His Excellency Jioji Konousi Konrote last night presenting medals at the Oceania Weightlifting Championship at the Vodafone Arena. (Fijian Government)
His Excellency Jioji Konousi Konrote last night presenting medals at the Oceania Weightlifting Championship at the Vodafone Arena. (Fijian Government)

President Konrote said sportsmen and women played a pivotal role in national development in terms integral parts of fostering such advancement and progress.

KONROTE: “Weightlifting is a fundamental sport requiring skill and precision, balance and strength. It is tactical in nature and lifters are very focused in competition. It openly encourages the participation of both men and women, young and old.”

He said the Fijian Government would we continue to support many sports as part of our development initiative.

KONROTE: “We are working with Oceania sports federations to contribute to the development of sport in the region not only by hosting events such as this but also in hosting academies as we work to become a hub for the Pacific.

The competition will continue today at the Vodafone Arena.

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