Steven Kari

Kari leads Team PNG home

Sponsors, friends and family all gathered at the airport as early as 12pm to receive them.

There was dancing, singing and plenty of emotion shown by the people of Hanuabada, who turned up in truckloads.

There was an immense feeling of pride when Kari, flanked by silver medallists Dika Toua and Morea Baru, walked out of the Paradise lounge waving and holding their medals up high.

“Firstly, I want to thank God for giving me another gold medal for PNG and for my family,” said Kari.

Trukai praises weightlifters for brilliant performance

As the proud sponsor of the PNG Weightlifting Federation for over 20 years, Trukai Industries celebrated the weightlifters’ victories along with PNG.

Repeating his feats at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, Steven Kari snatched gold in the Men’s 94kg Division and broke the Commonwealth Games Clean and Jerk record in the process. 

Dika Toua and Morea Baru were also magnificent in capturing silver in the Women’s 53kg and Men’s 62kg divisions respectively.

VIDEO: Parkop congratulates Kari

The Governor made special mention about the outstanding medal performances by Steven Kari, Dika Toua and Morea Baru.

Emotional day for PNG

It was an emotional day for PNG yesterday when Steven Kari not only successfully defended his Commonwealth Games title in the men’s 94 kilograms weightlifting event, but he also smashed the 17-year-old clean and jerk Commonwealth record.

“It’s a great moment for Steven and also for Team PNG,” said Team PNG Chef de Mission, Tamzin Wardley.

“We watched the sheer joy from Steven and the friends and family who were there.

PM congratulates PNG athletes

PM O’Neill applauded every athlete who has made it to the games and said the country is behind them all the way.

"I congratulate all athletes who qualified for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.

"We know a lot of sweat and sacrifice has been required to reach to the Commonwealth Games and each of you must be congratulated.

“So far we have two silver medals in weightlifting events. I congratulate Morea Baru and Dika Toua for their tremendous efforts to win silver in their weightlifting events.

Kari breaks Commonwealth clean and jerk record

According to InsideTheGames, Kari was trailing Canada’s Boady Santavy by 13kg with two attempts remaining in the clean and jerk but incredibly managed to lift 216kg to claim victory with a total of 370kg.

It smashed the previous Commonwealth record, set by Australia’s Alexan Karapetyan in November 2001, by 6kg.

Victory for Kari also secured Papua New Guinea a first gold medal of Gold Coast 2018.

Santavy had to settle for the silver medal with a total of 369kg.

Kari secures 3 gold medals

Kari lifted a total of 350kg in the men’s 94kg weight division.

It has been 8 months since Kari has gotten back into action, training hard at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in New Caledonia under Paul Coffa.

His lift in the snatch was a walk in the park as he took on the challenge from Samoan lifter Siaosi Leuo.

Kari’s first attempt saw him lift 145kg, his second attempt he managed 150kg and his third attempt of 155kg was a good lift in which he secured the first gold medal.

Six PNG weightlifters hope to qualify for 2018 Games

To compete at next year’s Commonwealth Games in weightlifting, an athlete must now qualify as no longer can countries send a team to compete.

The six PNG lifters are currently training at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute, namely Thelma Toua, Dika Toua, Morea Baru, Toua Udia, Steven Kari and Lorraine Harry.

Oceania coach Paul Coffa confirmed that only fifteen lifters in the Oceania region, one per country, per category will be eligible to compete in the Gold Coast Games.

In the Oceania region there are only two events this year, where an athlete can qualify.

Kari and Toua may miss Rio Olympics

This was announced by Papua New Guinea’s Chef de Mission Emma Waiwai when speaking to ABC Radio Australia recently.

Waiwai said, this may be possible because of two reasons, he may be injured or facing certain qualifying needs. It could be one of those two reasons.

On the other end, Papua New Guineas weightlifting queen and Commonwealth gold medalist Dika Toua's place in the team isn't guaranteed also as she has a long way to work her way back to her standard.

Two weightlifters from 15 to qualify for Rio

PNG Weightlifting Federation president Sir John Dawanicura says they’ll be sending Toua Udia and sisters Thelma and Dika Toua back to join the two male athletes Morea Baru and Fred Oala.  

The five athletes will train there leading up to the Oceania Championships and Olympic Qualifiers from May 23-28 in Fiji.

Baru is also preparing to attend the Australian Open International at Brisbane in March to qualify on merit for the 2016 Rio Olympics in August.