Sir John proud of lifters


Papua New Guinea Weightlifting Federation president Sir John Dawanincura said he was proud of his lifters for achieving their vision to win over 12 gold medals at the Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Weightlifting continued to excite the crowd at Epauto Conventional Centre which was free for spectators.
Sir John said from Port Vila, Vanuatu, that his sport projected 12 gold prior to the Games but they have won an extra two which was bonus for the sport and the country.
Weightlifting’s prodigal son Steven Kari won three gold medals in 94kg division ahead of Leuo Siaosi (Samoa) and John Henry Downes (Australia) yesterday.
Kari lifted 155kg in snatch, 195kg in clean and jerk for a total of 350kg.
Siaosi won silver in snatch with 152kg and clean and jerk (186kg) plus the total lift of 338 while Australian John Downes won bronze in snatch (111kg) and total 251kg while Angel Louis Cabrera San Nicolas (NMI) won bronze in clean and jerk.
As predicted, Lorraine Harry picked up three silver medals in the 90kg division. She snatched 84kg and lifted 107kg in clean and jerk for a total of 191kg which was 57kg behind the gold medal winner.
Fijian Eilen Cikamatana cleaned up the women’s event winning three gold medals in snatch (105kg), clean and jerk (143kg) plus a total 248kg.
“I am very, very happy with the results of weightlifting who already produced 14 gold medals and four silver for Team PNG,” Sir John said.
The elated weightlifting president added: “Our vision for Gold Coast is to repeat two gold medals similar to 2014 against quality lifers in the Commonwealth and push the vision to three gold medals. This is our dream, not a prediction.
“Kari and (Dika) Toua are aiming at winning back-to-back gold medals at Gold Coast next April whilst Morea Baru is expecting to take gold in the 62kg category.”
Sir John said Baru was the favourite and well ahead of his rival, Dimitris Minisadis from Cyprus who won the gold medal at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
“That is our vision based on all of our lifters doing their personal bests in training under Paul Coffa, and in addition (Oceania Weightlifting Institute coach),” he said.
“Being respectively ranked in the top seven in the Commonwealth, they have all qualified on merit to participate at the Commonwealth Games.”