Weightlifters challenged to perform

Elite weightlifters have been told the door is open to qualify for two important international events next year in order to make Team PNG to the next Commonwealth Games.

This will only become a reality as long as they train and attend competitions to meet the minimum qualification standards.

That includes top athletes and 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Dika Toua and Steven Kari who missed out on the recent Rio Olympics.

This is the word from Papua New Guinea Weightlifting President Sir John Dawaninicura in an interview with Loop PNG news yesterday (Saturday) in Lae.

Two important events include next year’s Oceania championships and the Commonwealth championships as both events will be a qualifier for the 2018 Commonwealth Games where one athlete would be nominated per category.

“The door is open for elite athletes to qualify for the two major events as long as they keep on training and attend competitions to meet the minimum qualification standards,” Sir John said.

Olympian Morea Baru did the country proud finishing sixth at the Rio Oympics and is currently back in Port Moresby for his wedding on the condition he continues training but has been told to get back to Noumea, New Caledonia next January.

Sir John said the Hanuabada man had been told to get on the plane on January 2 back to Noumea to join Pacific Gold medallist Thelma Toua, the younger sister of dynamic pocket Dika Toua, to further undergo intensive training in preparation for the international events on the calendar.

PNG Weightlifting Federation is now negotiating with PNG Olympic Committee for funding to meet living expenses in Noumea for the athletes attending the academy in Noumea as it would cost A$240 a week which according to the President (Sir John) is expensive. 

Wendy Katusele