Our girls won Gold with pain in their elbows

Tauimanu and Vanessa wearing their medals after the painful competition

By Alan Ah Mu

APIA: 08 June 2012 – Oceania Gold medalist in the 69kg, Tauimanu Ah Kuoi pulled out of her third attempt at the snatch Thursday because of pain in her left elbow.

She felt the pain after her first snatch.

(Weightlifters each have three attempts to try and get their best snatch, each have three attempts to get their best clean and jerk).

Coach Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork immediately wanted to pull Tauimanu out of the snatch in order to save her for the clean and jerk later on.

But the lifter said she wanted another go at the snatch and lifted 79kg in her second attempt.

She pulled out of the third attempt because Tauimanu is a member of the Olympics qualification team and points from her in the clean and jerk were vitally needed.

Samoa’s team in the women’s category – Tauimanu, Ele and Mary Opeloge; Iuniara Simanu – needs to come within the top three teams.

If that feat is achieved one of the four lifters in the team will qualify to represent Samoa in the London Olympics next month.

But 79kg is not Tauimanu’s best snatch, it is 85kg.

With pain in her left elbow she went on to her first attempt in the clean and jerk, where she did something to her right elbow this time.

She clean and jerked 104kg and went for 110kg in her third attempt – her best in that discipline.

It proved too much for her on the night.

Her total of 183 was good enough to win her the bronze in the Commonwealth section of the Commonwealth and Oceania champs.

Right behind Tauimanu in the Commonwealth champs was fourth-placed Vanessa Lui – whose snatch and clean and jerk totaled 179.

It was good enough for Vanessa to win the Silver medal in the Oceania, behind Tauimanu.

“I was very happy,” said Vanessa.

Three weeks ago an injury to her elbow suffered in local competition threw doubt on her competing at all on Thursday.

Only in the last week before competition was she able to train fully.

Vanessa lifted 79kg in the snatch.

In the clean and jerk she reached 100kg and felt renewed pain in her vulnerable elbow.

She went for 104kg in the clean and jerk but couldn’t hold the weights up as her pained elbow made it a lopsided affair.

Overall though the results showed a big improvement for the 22-year-old.

In the 2008 Oceania she won gold in the 69kg with a snatch of 65kg and 85kg in the clean and jerk – pretty low when compared with her results on Thursday.

Her best though are 87kg (snatch) and 107kg (clean and jerk).

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