Another Samoan weightlifter for the Olympics
By Alan Ah Mu
APIA: 12 June 2012 – A second weightlifter has been picked for the London Olympics as a wild card entry. He is To’afitu Perive who competes in the 77kg division.
An invitation was announced by the president of the International Weightlifting Federation, Dr Tamas Ajan for a member of Samoa men’s team to compete at the London Olympics at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth and Oceania champs last week.
It was a “blessing” that surprised coach Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork.
The selection of To’afitu to represent Samoa was based on his performance at the champs, said Tuaopepe.
“Because he’s a gold medalist,” he said.
The lifter won gold in the Oceania and silver in the Commonwealth at the combined champs.
To’afitu, 27, grabbed the Commonwealth silver with a total of 288, India’s Kumar Sathish Sivalingham won with a total of 297.
His partner in the 77kg at the champs, Bob Pesaleli, who turns 20 this December, is the reserve for To’afitu.
Bob won the Oceania bronze medal at the champs.
Mary Opeloge who won in both the Commonwealth and the Oceania champs in the women’s 75kg, has been picked as reserve for older sister Ele Opeloge for the Olympics.
All four lifters have six weeks to prepare.
“There’s no time to rest,” said Tuaopepe, “so we have to get into training straight away.”