August 31, 2017
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Apolonia chases triple Commonwealth Gold

Double Commonwealth Championship Gold Medalist, Apolonia Vaivai will look to add another Gold medal to her tally when she competes at the Commonwealth Championship & Oceania Weightlifting Championship in Gold Coast next Friday.

She will compete in the 69 kg category.

Vaivai won Gold medals in the 75Kg weight category at the Commonwealth Championship in 2015 in Pune, India and again in 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

She is the only weightlifter from Fiji to ever win a Commonwealth title.

Apolonia is also the defending champion from the 2016 Oceania Weightlifting Championship where she won Gold in the 69 kg weight category, in Suva, with a lift of 206Kg, by beating Eileen Cikamatana by a mere 1 kg, the narrowest of margins, to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Her main competition in Gold Coast will come from Punam Yadav of India, England’s Zoe Smith and Sarah Davie and Phillipa Malone from Australia. All these athletes have lifted above 208Kg recently.

Apolonia Vaivai, Manueli Tulo, Taniela Rainibogi and Poama Qaqa have been preparing for the past several weeks in Suva under the watchful eyes of Della Shaw-Elder, Henry Elder and Joe Vueti.

They will be joined in Gold Coast by Eileen Cikamatana who is training under Paul Coffa at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Noumea.

The team departs for Gold Coast on Sunday and the competition will begin on Tuesday.

Apart from honours at the Commonwealth and Oceania Championships, the five athletes will be seeking to qualify for the Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Gold Coast in April 2018.

The Fiji Team will be led Manager Chris Yee, National Coaches Joe Vueti and Henry Elder.

Meanwhile International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Category 1 Referee Della Shaw-Elder will be officiating as a Technical Official at the Championships.

By Reginald Chandar

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