11 Jul 2012

Sport: Oceania Weightlifting predicts lifters will make bigger mark at next Games

11:02 am on 11 July 2012

The head of Oceania's Weightlifting Institute says that while a medal isn't impossible at the upcoming London Olympics, he feels the regions biggest successes will be in the next four year cycle.

Paul Coffa is a former Australian national coach who, for the past 15 years, has been training Oceania's leading weightlifters at his institute in New Caledonia.

16 lifters from New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific have qualified for London, including 10 who are training with Coffa.

He says while some athletes, like Samoa's Ele Opeloge, could peak at this year's games, many are still young and developing with their best years still ahead of them.

"We're still in the building up phase. I think in Glasgow in 2014 we will be even better - I wouldn't be surprised if there were 15 gold medals in the Pacific, even as close as eight, and from then on we've got Rio in 2016 and the lifters will be even better prepared and matured."

Paul Coffa says he expects three of four of the regions lifters to make the top five in London, which he says would be a good return.