April 10, 2018
18-year-old Eileen Cikamatana became the first Fijian woman to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal yesterday after her triumph in the 90kg women’s weightlifting competition in Gold Coast.
The Taviya, Ovalau lass only completed one attempt in both the snatch and clean and jerk but her total of 233kg (103kg in the snatch and 130kg in the clean and jerk) still secured the gold medal with two lifts to spare.
Australian's Kaity Fassina lifted 104kg in the snatch and 128kg in the clean and jerk for a total lift of 232kg to finish behind the Fijian teenager.
"I feel like I'm on top of the world: I feel happy, I feel excited. I feel very emotional since they're telling me it's the first gold medal (for Fiji) after 16 years and with the presence of my parents I feel more and more happy and emotional,” she told Radio NZ.
Cikamatana holds all three Commonwealth records in her weight class but insists she is not disappointed at failing to set a new benchmark.
"When I came in I had one mind-track and that was to win gold for Fiji and nothing else. I mean breaking records it wasn't my day today but gold medal that was what I was here for."
She has now set her sights on breaking the world junior record for clean and jerk.
Judoka Nacanieli Takayawa won Fiji’s last gold medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in London.
Team Fiji currently has 1 gold and 1 bronze.
Weightlifter and Fiji’s flag-bearer Apolonia Vaivai won the country’s first medal (bronze) in the weekend.
By Reginald Chandar