6 Aug 2011

Sport: Samoan weightlifters to use Pacific Games as Olympic trial run

12:05 pm on 6 August 2011

Samoa's top weightlifters are looking to use the Pacific Games in New Caledonia as a stepping stone towards qualifying for next years London Olympics.

The team won 27 weightlifting medals at the 2007 games, including 14 golds.

Samoan athletes also picked up three gold medals at last years Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Head Coach Jerry Wallwork says their team is stronger than it was four years ago and is aiming to surpass improve on their medal haul.

He says they plan to use the Games as preparation for the World Championships in France in November.

"That would be mostly for the elite, like Ele Opeloge, Faavai Faa, for them to try and qualify because if they make it into the top ten for men they automatically qualify for the Olympics in London next year. And then of course the second competition will be the Oceania competition, which Samoa will be hosting, and of course the aim is to qualify as many athletes as possible."

Jerry Wallwork says the Samoan lifters have been busy training over the past couple of months and are fully focused on the Pacific Games.