17 year old Don Opeloge – double Gold medalist at the Pacific Mini Games
By Nynette Sass, Samoa Team Manager
THURSDAY 07 DECEMBER 2017: Pacific Mini Games, VANUATU– Don hails from the Opeloge clan who are synonymous with Weightlifting success. His aunty, Ele Opeloge is a well-known weightlifting star and Olympic Silver Medalist plus a holder of a host of other titles during her active career.
Don is 17 years of age and currently attends Avele College. He has just been lifting around 2 years.
“His training routine is usually daily sessions at the gym after school. When preparing for big events, he is in training with his team in the morning around 4.30am, to school and then back at the gym in the afternoon at 5-7.30 for more intense training. That is sheer dedication,” says Coach Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork.
“Don is an outstanding elite athlete at this level for someone so young. He has already qualified and will be challenging for Gold at the upcoming Commonwealth Games next April.”
Tuaopepe pointed out that in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Don Snatched 145kg and Clean & Jerk of 185kg. On his second attempt, lifted 147kgs in his Snatch and 180kgs in the Clean and Jerk. He was unsuccessful on his 190kg attempt.
“Looking at these stats, Don is on his way to challenge that recent Commonwealth Gold medal lift as well.”
When asked how he was feeling after last evening’s medal haul, “I’m not happy with my last snatch lift…I could have done better. I wanted those three Golds, then break all those other records at the same time.”
Don won Gold in his Clean and Jerk and a second Gold in the overall tally.