Government looks at rewards for Commonwealth Games medal winners


Samoa’s Gold Medalists at the Commonwealth Games Feagaiga Stowers and Sanele Mao.

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 11 APRIL 2018: Samoa’s medal winners at the Commonwealth Games in progress at the Gold Coast, Australia may receive monetary rewards in recognition of their sporting achievements.

The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi told Talamua last night that he is meeting the Chairman of the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) Oloipola Terence today to discuss the monetary rewards for the medal winners at the Commonwealth Games.

Talking on his weekly radio programme with Talamua Media Tuilaepa picked up the telephone and directed his Secretary to ask Oloipola to come in for a meeting today to discuss how the medalists will be rewarded.

Samoa has so far won two Gold medals and two Silvers in Weightlifting. The gold medalists are Sanele Mao in the Men’s 105kg and Feagaiga Stowers in the Womens 90+kg division.

Sanele lifted 360kg for the snatch and jerk, and was the overall winner for the Men’s 105kg weightlifting event.

The Silver medals were won by Lauititi Lui and 18 year old Avele college student Don Opeloge.

Samoa’s Silver medalists 18 year old Avele college student Don Opeloge and Lauititi Lui.

Samoa’s first gold medalists in the Commonwealth Games, Ele Opeloge, her brother Niusila Opeloge and Fa’avae Fa’auliuli all received monetary rewards in recognition of their sporting achievements.

But Tuilaepa always emphasizes that the ultimate challenge and goal is the Olympics. The only Samoan athlete who has won a medal in the Olympics is weightlifter Ele Opegole who won Silver at the Beijing Olympics.

The Prime Minister says anyone who wins Gold in the Olympics, will receive $100,000 talā.

Samoa’s weightlifting team has returned to Samoa at the completion of their event in the Gold Coast and Samoa is hoping the boxing team may win a medal to add to the 2 Golds and 2 Silvers thus far.

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