June 11, 2017
Fiji’s top female weightlifter Apolonia Vaivai lifted a massive career best total of 222Kg to set alight the first Weightlifting national trials in Suva.
The 26-year-old who hails from Taveuni, lifted 100kg in the Snatch and 122kg in the Clean & Jerk, with a bodyweight of just above 69Kg.
This lift matches the Oceania record for the 69kg category set in 2000 by Australian, Michelle Kettner in Sydney.
Her previous personal best as a 69Kg athlete was 206Kg which she achieved when she won the Oceania Championships last year.
Vaivai lifted 208 Kg at the Commonwealth Championships in Kuala Lumpur in October 2016 and 209 Kg at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games winning the bronze medal in 2014, both as a 75Kg weight category
Her personal best was 215Kg as a 75+Kg athlete which she achieved while training at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Mont Dore, New Caledonia.
Apolonia is currently based in Suva and is being managed by Weightlifting Fiji Life- Member Chris Yee, who is providing a holistic professional environment for Apolonia to excel in.
She has been training under the guidance and experience of former athlete / coach Della Shaw-Elder and husband /coach Henry Elder, since March.
Vaivai has her sights set on defending her Gold medal at the Commonwealth Championships in September.
She has won this title for two years in a row in 2015 and 2016.
The National trial was attended by athletes from Levuka and Suva including Olympian, Manueli Tulo.
Tulo is also making improvements and he lifted 242kg, which was equal to his lift at the Rio Olympic Games, 2016.
Young Taniela Rainibogi who will be representing Fiji at the World Junior Championships in Japan in a fortnight, lifted a total of 278Kg with a bodyweight of 85.79Kg.
The trials also saw a return to the platform by 2012 London Olympian Maria Liku, who is making a comeback after having her second child.
Also back on stage after a year off, was young sensation Sofia Kinikinilau, who won a Gold medal at the Oceania Youth Championships last year.
The next trial is on Saturday 1st July.
By Reginald Chandar