Ele Opeloge in action for Samoa
BY Lance Polu
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 06 SEPTEMBER 2016: “There is no question about it now. Ele Opeloge will receive the Silver medal for the Beijing Olympic Games 2008.” A proud and veteran homebased Weightlifting Coach and President of the Samoa Weightlifting Federation Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork is certain.
“IOC will be advising later this week,” he told Talamua today.
“It’s a great feeling and I’m very happy for Ele. It does come 8 years after, and have lost the hype and glory and feeling of standing on the podium with your country’s flag been risen.
“But this is what we have been going against, cheaters from large countries for many years. Our weightlifting has reached the level where we now can contest and win medals at the Olympic level, even a gold medal is possible, but these cheaters MUST be removed and punished. And it is very encouraging to see that they are starting to get caught and punished accordingly with some countries banned for 2 years,” he stated.
A homegrown talent from the weightlifting Opeloge family from Vaoala, a humble and quiet Ele Opeloge was short of winning bronze by 1 kg in the Beijing Olympics. She came 6th in the London Olympics after suffering illness. Eight years later, the winners in her class have tested positive to using banned substances.
“Ele does deserve this medal and she worked hard to fight for Samoa for a medal. I also hope that the Government will reward her and give the bonus as been promised so many times over the years.”
“Will keep you updated when we get final confirmation from the IOC,” said Tuaopepe.
It will be Samoa’s first ever Olympic medal when it comes through.