Toua, Baru to build on gold haul


NATIONAL weightlifting pair Dika Toua and Morea Baru say last week’s Pacific Mini Games in Saipan, Northern Marianas, provided a great lead-up to next month’s Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Competing in the 49kg and 61kg respectively, Toua and Baru bagged three gold each for Team Papua New Guinea, who finished atop the standings with 33 gold, 28 silver and 19 bronze for a total of 80 medals.
“The results gave us a clear picture of how much we still have within us to take to the Commonwealth Games,” Toua told The National upon their return on Sunday.
“We’ve being training very hard for the Commonwealth Games and the Pacific Mini Games was a great lead-up to that.
“We’re just hoping that we’ll do well there.
The pair are expected to return to Australia for their final preparations before travelling to the United Kingdom next month.
“We’re back here (Port Moresby) for just a couple of days,” the Hanuabada villager said.
“We’ll resume intensive training once again when we return (to Australia to prepare) for the Birmingham Games.”
Baru and Toua were named as the best performers at the Mini Games while Team PNG athletics mentor Brett Green was named as the coach of the tournament.
Veteran Toua was inducted into the international weightlifting Hall of Fame while Baru broke the previous Pacific Games record of 150kg in clean and jerk, lifting a total of 151kg.
The pair thanked major sponsor Trukai Industries Limited, the PNG Olympic Committee and head coach Paul Coffa for their continued support.