Monday, June 17, 2024
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Elder, Fiji’s youngest powerhouse at CG

14-year-old Nehemiah Elder emerged as the youngest participant in the recent Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship in Delhi, India, creating a buzz in Fiji’s sporting history.

This high-stakes competition represented a significant leap for Elder, who started his weightlifting journey at the tender age of six.

Training under the guidance of his father and national coach, Henry Elder, a respected figure in Fiji’s weightlifting landscape, Nehemiah showed exceptional progress.

“My dad has been my biggest inspiration. He not only introduced me to weightlifting, but he also showed me how to handle the pressure of the sport. He’s been there to push me and also support me in every step.”

The young athlete embarked on an intensive training program, designed to maximise his skills and prepare him for the big stage.

“We began rigorous training just a week after the Coke Games. It was tough, but I knew it was necessary if I wanted to compete against the best.”

Despite his age, Nehemiah remained unfazed in the face of the enormous challenge of the Commonwealth Games.

“It was overwhelming, being the youngest competitor there. But it was also exciting, different from any local competitions I’ve been a part of.”

He also mentioned the initial struggles with the atmosphere, “The lights got to me at first, but eventually, I found my rhythm and overcame the pressure.”

Although age restrictions held him back from competing in the Pacific Games, Nehemiah’s ambition remains undeterred.

“I was hoping to compete in the Pacific Games, but I’m not old enough yet. It’s a goal for me now, to get there soon,” he stated with a determined gleam in his eyes.

Simran Chand
Simran Chand
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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