September 24, 2017
  Follow @ Twitter

Vaivai wins first medal for Fiji, breaks records

Team Fiji Weightlifter Apolonia Vaivai broke two Senior Oceania Records in the Snatch and won a silver medal in the Women's 69kg Group A competition during the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on Friday night.

Vaivai did a snatch of 102kg in her second attempt and went on to lift 105kg in her third attempt to beat a 17 year record of 100kg set by Australia's Michelle Kettner back in March 2000.

In the clean and jerk, she lifted 116kg to give her a total of 221kg which not only awarded her a silver medal but Fiji's first medal in the Asian Games.

The 26-year-old number one ranked in the Commonwealth was excited about her achievement and said this is only a stepping stone for her to do better in the Mini Games and Commonwealth Games.

"I feel so good right now, I never imagined that I would be here competing in the Asian Games because the lifters who come here are tough and put up a really good challenge," Vaivai said.

"But I managed to get a medal and I feel excited and happy to not only break two records but win Fiji's first medal at our first Asian Indoor Games.”

"This achievement has definitely given me more confidence to keep working hard in the future to become the best I can be.”

"When I got up on that stage to do my snatch, I knew in my head that this is something I wanted and I wanted my name down on the board and I did it.”

"I know I can do more than what I am doing now and setting this record has given me that motivation to continue to work hard,” she said.

With the amount of pressure on her to do well, Vaivai said the one thing that keeps her going is God and the support from those around her.

"God has been the number one motivation in my life and is the one thing that has kept me going all this while.”

"The amount of support I have been getting from my coach, Chris Yee and his family and the weightlifting family is something that amazes me.”

"Everyone has been behind me and that is what drives me to keep doing my best. Coming here was no walk in the park, this is a huge event and I know coming here I wanted to get nothing less than a medal,” she added.

Coach Joe Vueti said he was proud of Vaivai's achievements despite getting a silver medal.

He said with Weightlifting being a very technical sport, no matter how much training or competitions Vaivai has been through, everything comes down to that one moment when she steps up on that podium.

"As a coach, I am happy, for her to win a silver medal and to win it at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games is something huge," Vueti said.

"This is the first medal for Fiji and we are very proud of Apolonia's achievements but overall we are very satisfied and all the team mates are happy.”

"She got a lot of support throughout the competition, not just from our Team Fiji supporters but those from other countries as well which was good to see.”

"There was obviously some technical mistakes in the clean and jerk but then again that is the way the game is and missing out on the gold, I mean even myself I looked at it as a very easy gold for Apolonia.”

"But weightlifting is a very technical sport, once you miss an attempt you cannot afford to miss another, especially when the pressure is on. We missed two crucial lifts in the clean and jerk and that is what cost us the gold but we are still proud of her.”

"Apolonia will use this as a stepping stone and by the next games in Vanuatu she should be breaking more records,” he concluded.

By Reginald Chandar

Shots


Post a Comment
Bookmark and Share

 


Posted Comments
No comments, but you can post the first comment!

 

 







SPORTS
Sau grabs hat-trick on Flying Fijians debut
Winger Eroni Sau made a perfect debut for the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians today and scored a hat-trick of tries in their 68-7 win over Uruguay in London.
FOOTBALL
Shalmeen double saves 9-man Blues
Former Fiji Futsal rep Mohammed Shalmeen scored a late equalizer and then the winner as defending champion Blues FC came from behind to beat Friends United 3-2 in the opening match of the 2018 Vodafone National Club Championship finals in Suva today.
FIJI NEWS
Cyclone Winston moves towards Tonga
Category 2 Tropical Cyclone Winston is moving away from the Lau group and towards Tonga.
WORLD
Obama unveils gun violence proposals
President Barack Obama today demanded an assault weapons ban and universal background checks for gun buyers, stoking a generational clash with the firearms lobby after the Newtown school massacre.
ENTERTAINMENT
Afghan street kid heads for the Oscars red carpet
An Afghan street kid is off to Hollywood and the red-carpet treatment at the Oscars -- a fairytale ending to a chance encounter that led to a starring role in a movie.
TECHNOLOGY
Online registration for foreign investors
Fiji will soon launch online registration and approvals system for foreign investors.