Don Opeloge’s lifts Samoa to another gold in India


Don Opeloge has done it again. He claimed yet another gold medal for Samoa in the Men’s 102kg category at the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship in India lifting with a total lift of 379kg.

He defeated India’s Singh Harcharan who settled for silver and Australia’s Leon Vogeler-Schmidt who claimed bronze.

Samoa’s weightlifting team’s coach, Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork shared the good news with Samoa Observer after Opeloge’s competition and shared his pride and gratitude for the country’s unwavering support.

“Don was just simply outstanding,” he told this newspaper. “Couldn’t be prouder with an athlete of mine. He gave it all his heart. Faafetai Samoa mo le tapuaiga (Thank you Samoa for your support).”

Opeloge lifted 179kg in the snatch and 207 kg in the clean and jerk and also set three new Commonwealth records and three new Oceania records.

This is Samoa’s second gold from the championship as Vaipava Nevo Ioane claimed the first gold for team Samoa last week. He was at his best winning the men’s 67kg with a total lift of 280kg on Thursday evening.

Unfortunately, Maeu Nanai Livi who competed in the men’s 96kg was forced out of the event due to unexpected injuries.

Meanwhile, this is not killing the spirit for the team as they aim to win more gold medals.

Sanele Mao is also set to compete in the men’s 109kg event while Iuniarra Sipaia in the 87kg and Lesila Fiapule for the 87+kg who are the two women representatives will compete next.

Qualification names for the 2024 Olympic games will be finalised after Samoa competes in five mandatory IWF Events. The next stop being the IWF Senior World Championships set for Saudi Arabia in September 2023.