Pacific weightlifters

Samoa becomes top weightlifting training ground in the Pacific region

Weightlifting Samoa confirmed that there is a group of 16 weightlifters including men and women from the Republic of Mashall Island, Fiji, Kiribati and Tuvalu.

The training is being facilitated by Samoa's own Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork. 

Weightlifters in the region have been drawn to prepare in Samoa, after their performance at the Commonwealth Games, last year. 

Fewer athletes, fewer categories, but Pacific weightlifters can still have a big impact at the Paris Olympics

As pressure mounts on the International Weightlifting Federation to clean up its act or risk expulsion from the Olympic family, Coffa says there are more world class lifters in the Pacific than ever, they are drug free, and the idea that there will be fewer island lifters competing in Paris is nonsense.

Pacific weightlifters boosted after Olympic disqualifications

RNZ reports seven of the top eleven lifters in the men's 94kg weightlifting event category have now been disqualified.

David Katoatau from Kiribati is now the tenth place finisher, having initially finished 17th.

Iran's Saeid Mohammadpour will be elevated to a gold medal-winning position, having originally finished in fifth place.

Papua New Guinea's Dika Toua will now finish 12th in the women's 53kg event after Moldova's Cristina Iovu was been stripped of the bronze medal.

Pacific lifters on the up

RNZ reports Papua New Guinea's Morea Baru finished sixth in the men's 62kg division at the Rio Olympics, with Samoa's Nevo Ioane close behind in eighth.

Samoa coach Jerry Wallwork said those results were a positive signal but there is still room for growth.

"Nevo Ioane he lifted very well. For Samoa it's the first ever male lifter making the top ten with an Olympic Games, actually making the top eight. I think his performance was fantastic, I was very happy, and it's something we can build on now for the next Olympics," he said.

Pacific weightlifters tipped to make Rio finals

Paul Coffa says despite the natural talent of the Pacific lifters, they will be facing athletes with more resources and also some who have used performance enhancing drugs in the past, which means their task will be extremely difficult.

There are 15 Oceania representatives competing in Rio and Coffa said they are all in brilliant shape.