Papua New Guinea’s Dika Toua will challenge the best at the Games.
Some of the Commonwealth’s top female weightlifters have issued a strong challenge for both their competitors and Commonwealth records in March with an intense training regime at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Samoa.
Papua New Guinea’s Dika Toua, who last year topped out the 51kg and 58kg categories, will challenge for the gold in the 53kg in Melbourne, and is showing a return to form which makes her almost a certainty for gold.
In the 48kg category, 17 year old Suzanne Hiram from Nauru announced her own medal challenge when she smashed through the Oceania record, with a snatch of 68kg and a clean & jerk of 84kg, her combined score of 152kg is 3kg over the current mark.
Fellow Nauruan Sheba Deireragea, competing in the 63kg category, was also in good form, lifting a snatch of 95kg and clean and jerking 116kg, in a return to her best performance which should spell a Games medal.
Lifters in the super heavyweight division, the most popular for the Games, also put on a strong show as five of the top ten ranked 75+kg women went head to head to better their ranking ahead of the trip to Melbourne.
Young powerhouse Sioe Haioti from Niue clean and jerked 135kg, breaking the Oceanian record by 2kg and bettering her own winning performance at the Oceania Championships by 7kg.
She took a shot at an unofficial Commonwealth record by attempting 138kg, which was unsuccessful but left her more determined than ever for a victory at the Games.
Ivy Shaw from Fiji succeeded with her best snatch lift of 100kg, which is the highest snatch in the super heavyweight category in Oceania currently, and, coupled with her best of 122kg in the clean and jerk, makes her a strong medal contender.
21-year old Keffilini Tualau also made a surprise impact when she broke her personal best of 95kg in the snatch and 120kg in the clean and jerk to lift 98kg and 128kg respectively.
And Keisha Dean-Soffe, who just arrived from New Zealand for her final preparation for the Games, raised 120kg in the clean and jerk, making for an extremely tight competition.
The five challengers, and all of the weightlifters, will be looking to improve their rankings over the coming weeks before they go head to head with the Commonwealth’s top lifters in the Games Weightlifting competition at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from 16 – 24 March.
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