World junior weightlifting champion Don Opeloge lived up to expectations by winning triple gold in front of an expectant crowd today.
Opeloge claimed the overall gold medal at the World Junior Weightlifting Championships in Fiji last month in the men’s 89 kilograms division.
He proved he could cope with home pressure today by winning a hat-trick of titles at the Faleata Sports Complex.
The Samoan lifter managed 145kg in the snatch, before triumphing in the clean and jerk with an effort of 193kg.
His overall total of 338kg was 30kg heavier than his closest challenger Boris Elesin of Australia, winner of the silver medal in all three disciplines.
Joel Gregson, also of Australia, lifted 288kg in the two disciplines to take home three bronze medals.
Further home success came in the women’s 81kg event as Leotina Petelo clinched all three titles, including the overall on 199kg.
She finished clear of Papua New Guinea’s Noi Bernadett Igo, second overall on 164kg.
Nauru’s Ariana Uepa placed third with 162kg.
The podium was identical in the clean and jerk, but Igo and Uepa switched places in the snatch.
A strong day for Australia started with Kaitlyn Fassina winning three golds in the women’s 87kg competition.
She won the overall with a total of 220kg, after a 101kg snatch and a 119kg clean and jerk.
Papua New Guinea’s Lorriane Henao Harry won silver overall on 192kg, with Kiribati’s Tiaterenga Kaua third on 165kg.
Harry earned snatch bronze behind New Zealand’s Hayley Whiting, but took silver in the clean and jerk ahead of Roviel Detenamo of Nauru.
New Zealand’s Cameron McTaggart was crowned men’s 81kg champion by achieving a total of 305kg, while he also took clean and jerk gold and snatch silver.
Jack Opeloge of Samoa won the snatch on 138kg to help him to second place overall 298kg.
Kabuati Silas Bob gave the Marshall Islands their first medals of the Games, with bronze overall and in the snatch, as well as clean and jerk silver.
He finished the competition with a total of 288kg.
Away from the weightlifting, Tahiti expected dominance in the long-distance va’a events came to fruition.
Marguerite Temaiana won the women’s V1 16 kilometres title in a time of 1 hour 42min 36sec.
She was followed by Samoa’s Anne Cairns and Elenoa Vateiei, who clocked 1:43:57 and 1:44:43, respectively.
Tahiti’s double gold was sealed by Kevin Ceran-Jerusalemy as he clocked 1:32:27 in the men’s event, three minutes faster than second placed Albert Mainguet of New Caledonia.
The bronze medal went to Cook Islands’ Andre Tutaka-George in 1:44.24.