Opeloge (SAM) raises the bar to take three weightlifting golds

Ele Opeloge (SAM) was too much for her opponents in winning the women's over 75kg gold medal on Wednesday. Photo by Susie Pini.

Ele Opeloge (SAM) was too much for her opponents in winning the women’s over 75kg gold medal on Wednesday. Photo by Susie Pini.

By Willie Lovai, Games New Service

PORT MORESBY, July 8 – Ele Opeloge (SAM) was peerless in her triple gold medal winning women’s over 75kg performance at the Port Moresby 2015 Pacific Games on Wednesday.

Opeloge, who was the two-time defending champion going into Port Moresby 2015, dominated the snatch with a lift of 113kgs, overpowered her opponents in the clean and jerk with a lift of 131kgs, and took the overall title with 244kgs, beating her closest rival by 21 kgs.

The Samoan said that Wednesday’s title at the PNG Power Dome was the hardest of her three Pacific Games titles.

“Just three months ago I started training for this gold. I took some time off after the [2014] Commonwealth Games.” Opeloge said.

Tracey Lambrechs (NZL) took silver in the overall with 223kgs and Luisa Peters (COK) took the bronze with 207kgs.

Opeloge was declared the winner in the clean and jerk after her first lift of 126kgs was never bettered by silver medallist Lambrechs. The best the Kiwi lifter could raise was 125kgs.

The Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist had already won the event and declined her third attempt so she could start celebrations early.

Lambrechs was second in the clean and jerk and Peters was third.

It was the same one-two-three finish in snatch.

Lambrechs said her Samoan rival is an superb athlete and it was going to take a lot more hard work to beat her.

“She’s definitely a world class athlete, one of the best we’ve ever had,” Lambrechs said.

“I think it’s going to take a lot more mental preparation and tweaking my strength a little bit [to get to her level].”

“Later this year I’m going to do my best to give her a run for her money at the world championships.”

GNS wl/jc/jf

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