Sport: Samoa lifters happy with medal haul

Samoa Weightlifting Head Coach Jerry Wallwork went into the Commonwealth Games targeting medals in every event.

Jerry Wallwork Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Vinnie Wylie

But after a final day flourish that included gold medals for Sanele Mao and Feagaiga Stowers, and a silver from Lauititi Lui he said four out of six ain‘t bad.

“I know it was a drama with Lauititi‘s knee but we‘re thankful that it has ended with some results, some medals. We were aiming for medals and I think we were too much aiming for gold medals – and we sort of forgot along the line that we needed to secure the medals – but I can‘t deny that these guys have really put in a great effort.

“They pushed it, they gave it their best and at the Commonwealth level you can‘t ask for anything more than that.”

New Zealand‘s Laurel Hubbard had been the clear favourite for gold in the 90kg+ category before she was forced to withdraw with an elbow injury.

Jerry Wallwork has been outspoken in his belief that transgender athletes should not be able to compete against women.

He said it was an unfortunate accident but Feagaiga Stowers was able to capitalise on the opportunity.

“Like I said I‘ve got nothing personal against Laurel Hubbard – I felt sorry for her when she got the injury. I think she shouldn‘t have been pushed so much [during the snatch], they should have secured the gold medal.

“This was probably the only chance – it‘s another four years away, it‘s a long time away but that‘s how sport is. We just got an injury now [to Lauititi Lui], we missed out on the gold medal so you take the good and the bad.”

Silver medal comes at a cost

Meanwhile, Lauititi Lui could be sidelined until next year after injuring himself at the Commonwealth Games.

Competing in the men‘s 105kg+ category, Lui collapsed in agony after failing to land his final attempt in the clean and jerk.

His total of 400kg was still enough to earn a silver medal behind New Zealand‘s David Liti, who set a new Commonwealth Games record.

Samoa team doctor Carmichael Patu says the 22-year-old was disappointed with the injury but happy to have won a silver medal.

“Unfortunately he can‘t put any weight on his right foot now so we can‘t even straighten it,” he said.

“The doctor that was sort of assessing was sort of suspecting it might be an anterior cruciate ligament injury so what we‘re trying to do now is get him to have MRI, try and assess it straight away.”

David Liti of New Zealand (L) celebrates winning the gold medal in the men‘s +105kg weightlifting final with silver medallist Lauititi Lui of Samoa (C) and bronze medallist Muhammad Nooh Dastgir Butt of Pakistan. Photo: AFP or licensors

Jerry Wallwork said Lui was unlikely to compete again for a long time.

“We will see what the doctors will say after tonight and then yes it will be recovery for him. There‘s not much we can do and hopefully he comes back strong next year.”

The Samoan weightlifting team was scheduled to fly back home early this morning.