Samoa’s Tafi sets Oceania weightlifting record

Samoan weightlifter, John Tafi, set a new record for the Oceania region in the Junior and Seniors’ Men’s 73-kilogram division on late Friday.

The President of Samoa Weightlifting, Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, said he was impressed by the speed at which Tafi had become a world-class athlete.

“John Tafi is impressive by breaking and setting a New Oceania Junior & Senior Record in the Men’s 73kg division with a Snatch of 136 kilograms,” Tuaopepe said. 

“The previous record was held by Daniel Wakeling [of Australia] at 133 kilograms.  This young man has only been lifting for two years. He has great potential to exceed in the sport.

The 18-year-old says he has put all his effort into his performance with the goal of notching up achievements for Samoa on the world stage. 

Tafi isn’t the only one celebrating.

Don Opeloge is continuing to make his way upwards and hopefully to be in the World rankings.

“Also during the May Challenge Cup competition Don Opeloge again set a new Oceania Senior Record in the Men’s 96 kilogram division with a Snatch of 176 kilograms,” he said.

“He broke the record two weeks ago with 175 kilograms. Now again [he] set a new record with 176 kilograms. He is moving closer upwards in the world rankings and he is also within a chance of winning a medal in Tokyo this year.”

SWA Samoa Weightlifting continues to set new records and they are hoping to qualify more athletes for the Tokyo Olympics this year despite the uncertainty around whether the event can go ahead in the midst of the pandemic.

SWA Samoa Weightlifting is continuing to train twice a day with the goal of lifting their performance to international standards. The training regimen has coincided with athletes continuing to enter Samoa’s name on the history books. 

Tuaopepe is confident that his team will not let Samoa down; in fact, he believes if the Tokyo Olympics do go ahead they will be bringing gold medals home.