Implementation of the Institute

The Oceania Weightlifting Institute is the brain child of Paul Coffa. When he moved his family to Sigatoka, Fiji, in 2002, Paul wanted to establish a weightlifting centre of excellence which would be accessible to Pacific Island lifters who are normally disadvantaged with access to high level coaching and proper equipment. This would allow them to train professionally. Therefore using his own personal funds he built a weightlifting centre, with the assistance of the Nadroga Province and in particular Ratu Sakiusa Makutu who provided the land next to the Nadroga Rugby ground. Paul called this weightlifting centre, Oceania Weightlifting Institute and it was officially opened on the 12th April, 2002.


The purpose for the Oceania Weightlifting Federation establishing this Institute was:

  • To assist athletes within the Pacific region to train in a professional environment.
  • To prepare elite athletes of the Pacific for major international events such as the South Pacific Games, the Commonwealth Games, World Championships and of course the Olympic Games.
  • To educate further the athletes in the requirements of preparation for major international events.
  • To provide a platform for regional coaches to further their coaching experience with elite athletes.
  • To assist the region in the promotion of Technical officials.

The early days of the Institute 2002


Since the Institute was opened on the 12th April, 2002, the results have been outstanding. The major success for 2002 was the Commonwealth Games held in Manchester. Lifters who trained at the Institute produced outstanding results by winning 2 gold, 5 silver and 9 bronze medals.

Nauruan Men's Team

Nauruan Women's Team

  • The Fiji Weightlifting Federation (FWF) also benefited tremendously in 2002. With the assistance of the Institute, Fiji was provided with an opportunity to develop its Federation. In October 2002 the first ever national championships was held in Levuka, Fiji, with 40 lifters taking part, followed by another tournament held at the Institute for the F.W.F. in December 2002.
  • In 2002, 54 lifters from 7 countries trained at the Institute. Some full time and some part time.


The focus in 2003 was the Pacific Games held in Suva. The lifters training at the Institute accounted for 77% of Gold medals, 80% of silver medals and 64% of bronze medals won at the Pacific Games.

Top lifters at the South Pacific Games.

The Fiji Team at the South Pacific Games.

From August to December, 2003, the OOTC program came into force and this enabled certain lifters to train full time at the Institute for lengthy periods. They benefited greatly from this especially in their approach to major events.

Sioe Haioti from Niue

Sam Pera Junior from the Cook Islands.

In 2003, 57 lifters from 12 countries trained at the Institute. Again, some of these athletes trained for a long period of time with a few training for a shorter period.


The first six months of 2004 saw 70 lifters from 9 countries training at the Institute preparing this time for the Oceania and South Pacific Championship, which was an Olympic Qualification event.

All Oceania lifters, who qualified, (with the exception of the two Australians,) or received invitation cards to compete at the Athens Olympic Games trained at the Institute.

The lifters of the Pacific competing in Athens were as follows:

  • Nauru: Yukio Peter (IOC Scholarship), Reanna Solomon (IOC Scholarship), Itte Detenamo (OOTC program)
  • Samoa: Uati Maposua
  • PNG: Dika Toua (Solidarity & OOTC program)
  • FSM: Manuel Minginfel (Solidarity & OOTC program)
  • American Samoa: Eleei Ilalio (OOTC program)
  • Kiribati: Meameaa Thomas (Solidarity)
  • Fiji: Ivy Shaw (FASANOC)
  • Cook Islands: Sam Pera (Solidarity & OOTC program)

Ten lifters representing eight countries of the Pacific competed at the Athens Olympic Games. Dika Toua (PNG) three times PNG Sports woman of the Year, placed 6th, which was the highest placing of any Pacific athlete from any sport.

Oceania lifters training at the Institute in preparation to the Oceania Championships in Suva, Fiji.

Pacific lifters staying in Sigatoka at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute together with IWF officials, Mr. Robert Nagy and Mr. Attila Adamfi.

2005 - 2007

The results that the Institute had achieved from 2002 to 2004 was ground breaking. Coming to the crossroads and in order to achieve better results, the Institute needed to elevate the Pacific lifters standard further in order for them to rank higher at world level. With the combined support of the National Federations, the National Olympic Committees, the Oceania National Olympic Committee (IOC Solidarity) and the OOTC Program the Pacific lifters took a big step forward.

Success continued when the Institute lifters dominated the 2005 Mini South Pacific Games in Palau in the month of August.

  • Whilst all of this was happening, Seiuli Paul Wallwork, President of the Oceania Weightlifting Federation, made a special visit to Fiji and in the course of events convinced Paul Coffa to relocate the Institute to Samoa, as Samoa was building a world class facility in Tuainamato. The SPG Minister and the Prime Minister of Samoa played a big part in securing the relocation of the Institute, the Coffa family and the elite athletes of the region. Accommodation for the athletes however was an issue. Whilst training facilities were provided there was no accommodation at all for the athletes to stay. Therefore, the Government came to a 50 / 50 agreement by providing $75,000 AUD and Paul Coffa from his own personal funds provided a further $75,000 AUD to build the accommodation facility within 50 metres from the weightlifting stadium.
  • The Institute was relocated to Apia on October 12th, 2005 and was met with instant success when institute lifter, Yukio Peter (Nauru), won a silver medal at the Centennial World Championships in Qatar in December 2005.
  • Samoa in July 2006 held the biggest international weightlifting event the Pacific has ever seen with 30 countries taking part and massive television coverage not only local, the Pacific region but also international in China. The event was the Commonwealth & Oceania Championships and the first Pacific Rim International. The major event was followed by another success at the World Championships when in the month of October, 2006, Manuel Minginfel (FSM) won a silver medal in Santo Domingo.

Obviously whilst the institute was located in Samoa, the local lifters benefited greatly and produced vastly improved results. There was also a huge increase in the number of lifters.

Institute lifters at the South Pacific Games 2007 won 39 out of the 45 gold medals.

The Minister for the SP Games opens the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Apia-Samoa. The Weightlifting Institute in Samoa on October 12th 2005

The training Hall in Samoa in 2005.

The accommodation in Apia-Samoa for the Institute lifters.

The First Pacific Rim International tournament held in July 2006 in Apia.

The Institute produced the greatest female lifter the region has ever seen. She started in November 2005. Three years later Ele Opeloge placed 4th at the Beijing Olympic Games and eight years later she was rewarded with the Olympic Silver medal when the initial 2nd and 3rd place getters at the Beijing Olympics were found to be positive on doping. Ele became the first female weightlifter to win an Olympic medal in the Oceania region.

E;e Opeloge (Samoa) the greatest female weightlifter in the Oceania region.

Seiuli Paul Wallwork with his son Tuapepe Jerry Wallwork were and are the master minds behind Samoa’s world success.

  • The number of lifters training at the Institute (Fiji) in 2005 were 60 from 13 countries
  • The number of lifters training at the Institute (Samoa) in 2006 were 78 from 13 countries
    • (plus 16 overseas countries trained during the Pacific Rim international held in Apia)
  • The number of lifters training at the Institute (Samoa) in 2007 were 92 from 14 countries
    • (plus 24 overseas countries trained during the World Cup held in Apia)


In February 2008, the Oceania Weightlifting Institute relocated to Noumea, New Caledonia. The New Caledonia Government built a new weightlifting institute to cater for the relocation.

Although the new institute building had not been completed, the lifters continued to train in temporary facilities towards the Beijing Olympic Games.

The Institute lifters placed as follows in Beijing:

  • Nauru: Itte Detenamo, placed 10th in the +105Kg category
  • FSM: Manuel Minginfel placed 11th in the 62Kg category
  • Cook Islands: Samuel Pera Junior placed 12th in the +105Kg category
  • Tonga: Maamaloa Lolohea placed 13th in the+105Kg Category
  • Kiribati: David Katoatau placed 15th in the 85Kg category
  • Tuvalu: Logona Esau placed 23rd in the 69Kg category
  • Fiji: Joe Vueti placed 23rd in the 77Kg category
  • PNG: Dika Toua, placed 8th in the 53Kg Category
  • Solomon Islands: Wendy Hale placed 12th in the 58Kg category


The new Institute building was officially opened in New Caledonia, on August 1st, 2009. This would house the Oceania Weightlifting Institute program, as well as house the Oceania and Commonwealth headquarters. It was officially declared open by Monsieur Philippe Gomez, President of the New Caledonia Government , Monsieur Eric Gay Mayor of the City of Mont Dore and H.E. Marcus Stephen, President of the Republic of Nauru and President of the Oceania Weightlifting Federation. 250 guests attended.

The possibility of the relocation of the Oceania Institute to New Caledonia originated in 2007, after a number of meetings between the New Caledonia Minister for Sport, Le Comité Térritorial Olympique et Sportif (CTOS) Mr.Ronald Frere the President of New Caledonia Weightlifting, the NC 2011 Pacific Games Organizing Committee, and the OWF General Secretary , Paul Coffa, given that the creation and establishment of the Institute program back in 2002 was solely his doing. At the conclusion of these meetings, Paul Coffa decided to relocate the Institute program and in February 2008, the Institute program commenced in New Caledonia .

The Oceania Weightlifting Institute accommodation at night

The Institute training halls

Guests at the Opening Ceremony of the Oceania Weightlifting Institute

Two great friends, His Excellency Marcus Stephen with Sam Coffa

The cutting of the ribbon at the main entrance by Monsieur Pierre Frogier, Deputy of the Republic of France, Monsieur Phillip Gomez, President of New Caledonia Government, Mr Ma Wenguang, IWF General Secretary, His Excellency Marcus Stephen, OWF President, Monsieur Ronal Frere OWF Vice President, and the Mayor of the City of Mont Dore Monsieur Eric Gay.

The hall prepared for the Opening Ceremony

Other guests at the opening of the Institute, included Heads of State and Government Ministers of the different Pacific Island nations, local government officials including Monsieur Pierre Frogier, Deputy of the Republic of France and President of the South Province, Monsieur Maurice Ponga the former Minister for Sport of New Caledonia and now Member of the European Government, the current Minister for Sport for New Caledonia , the President and Board members of the Le Comité Térritorial Olympique et Sportif (CTOS), the President and Board members of the NC 2011 Pacific Games Organizing Committee, the Secretary General and the CEO of the Pacific Games Council plus many other distinguished guests.

The IWF weightlifting personalities who travelled to New Caledonia for this special occasion were Mr. Ma Wenguang then General Secretary of the IWF and President of the Weightlifting Association of the People’s Republic of China, his personal secretary Ms. Wang Yan who was the Competition Manager for weightlifting at the Beijing Olympics. Mr. Sam Coffa, the then Vice President of the IWF, Mr. Nicu Vlad also Vice President of the IWF, the President of the European Weightlifting Federation, Dr. Antonio Urso, many times world champion Mr. Blagoi Blagoev, Mr. Matthew Curtain, London 2012 Weightlifting Competition Manager, and Ms. Reiko Chinen from Japan representing the 2016 Tokyo Bid.

Mr. Ma Wenguang, was extremely impressed and stated that the Institute is unique in its operation in the world of weightlifting, is a concept of great forward thinking, and is a model that other continents should try to emulate. In the same manner the European President, Dr. Antonio Urso, was equally impressed and he believes that a regional concept such as this will not only develop weightlifters in the region but also promote the sport of weightlifting in a professional manner.

The Institute facilities includes a main training hall with 18 platforms, a second training hall which includes 10 platforms plus general weight training equipment, changing facilities for men and women, weigh-in rooms, doping control room, offices, and reception area. The accommodation area includes twelve rooms with en-suite facilities catering for up to 24 athletes, a large dining room, television room, kitchen facilities, utilities room, meeting room and offices for the Oceania and Commonwealth headquarters.

Interestingly quite a number of countries outside of the Oceania region had expressed interest in training at the Institute in New Caledonia. Also it is interesting that the Institute Opening made the sports news of the Chinese Olympic Committee on their website.


  • Mr Takitoa Taumoepeau (Sec.General - Tonga National Olympic Commttee)
  • Mr Fred Maetoloa(President - Solomon Islands National Olympic Committee)
  • Mr Teake Esene Manatu (Sec General - Tuvalu National Olympic Committee)
  • Mr Peter Birati (President - Kiribati National Olympic Committee)
  • Ms Rosie Blake (Sec.General - Cook Islands National Olympic Committee)
  • Mr Terry Sasser (Sec.General - Marshall Islands National Olympic Committee)
  • Mr Anthony Muller (President - Marshall Islands Weightlifting)
  • Ms Lorraine Ma (Sec.General & CEO of FASANOC)
  • Mr Patrick Bower (2011 Team Fiji - Chef de Mission)
  • Mr Pres-Nimes Ekwona (Gen.Secretary - Nauru Olympic Committee)
  • Mr Jean-Marc Domergue (Sec.General - CTOS),
  • Mr Alan Tano (President - Niue Weightlifting & Gen Secretary Niue National Olympic Committee)
  • Korean National Team trained at the Institute
  • Institute lifters bring home medals at Commmonwealth Games in Dehli

Yukio Peters wins gold in the 77Kg Category

Itte Detenamo wins silver in the +105 Category



Chinese national team including Olympic and world champions trains at the Institute


Arnold Schwarzenegger with some of the Pacific Islands Team members

The highlight of the 2011 Arnold International Tournament held in Columbus – Ohio on March the 5th was the Pacific Islands against the USA team. There were some excellent results from both teams. The six Oceania institute lifters representing the Pacific Islands were : Manueli Tulo (Fiji), Manuel Minginfel (FSM), Yukio Peter, Itte Detenamo (Nauru), Steven Kari (Papua New Guinea) and David Katoatau (Kiribati).

The event was brilliantly organised by the competition directors, Mark Canella and Dan Bell. The volunteers were superb and the crowds were outstanding. A special thanks must also go to Stephen Powell, Ryan Kyle and Rachel Crass for assisting the Pacific Island team during the competition.

It was also great to see Arnold Schwarzenegger at the competition. It makes a lot of difference when you have a person like Arnold make an appearance and take a genuine interest in an event such as this.


An official photo taken during the visit of the President, General Secretary and Executive Director of the Comité Territorial Olympique et Sportif (CTOS). Front row sitting from left Mr LIU Naizhong Official; Ms XIA Zhaolan Manager of the Delegation; Mr Michel Quintin, Executive Director (CTOS); Mr Charles Cali, President (CTOS); Mr ZHOU Jinqiang Team Leader and Vice President of the Chinese Weightlifting Federation, Mr Jean-Marc DOMERGUE General Secretary (CTOS) Paul Coffa and Mr OU Xiaohua (Coach). Chinese and Institute lifters all standing behind.


Lifters training at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute and past members of the Institute together produced 39 of the 45 gold medals.

The three day weightlifting event which concluded on September 7th, was claimed to be one of the best organised events of the Games. There were close battles, some great lifting and large audiences all day long. The event was televised live to many countries of the world with many VIP’s in attendance at different times.

IOC member Kevan Gosper attended two of the categories and presented medals. So did IOC member Robin Mitchell. Quite a few ministers for sports from the different pacific countries were in attendance. And every national Olympic committee also attended to see their athletes in action. From the IOC, Nicole Girard-Savoy was in attendance. She took great interest in the institute lifters especially those who are on IOC London. scholarships. All Executive Board members of the Pacific Games Council attended. As well as the executive members of the NC2011 including its President, Pascal Bastien-Thiry. and Executive Director of the CTOS. Attending as well was the Mayor of Mont Dore, Eric Gay plus quite a number of members of the New Caledonia cabinet.

The Kiribati Team at the Opening Ceremony

President Sarkozy opens the XIV Pacific Games



A record number of ten lifters from the Institute competed at the London Olympics coming from FSM, Fiji, Nauru, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Tuvalu, Cook Islands and Solomon Islands. Success breeds success.

The Institute was pleased to see that five of its lifters were the flag bearers for their countries at the Opening Ceremony. Tuvalu (Lapua Lapua), Kiribati (David Katoatau), Solomon Islands (Jenly Wini), Nauru (Itte Detenamo), and Micronesia (Manuel Minginfel)

J Wini (SOL)

L Lapua (TUV)

I Detenamo (NRU)

D Katoatau (KIR)

Manuel Minginfel, the flag bearer for Micronesia put up a great performance on the stage - it was pure theatre. The crowd and media loved him. His photographs appeared in every English newspaper and his performance on the platform for his 4th consecutive Olympic Games was a sheer joy to watch. His 285kg was his best ever performance at the Olympics and this was done with only one clean & jerk.


Quite a few Directors of the Comite Territorial Olympique Sportif (CTOS) paid a visit to athletes going to the London Olympics. During their visit they presented each of the athletes with t’shirts and wished them the very best of luck on behalf of New Caledonia sports. Mr. Charles Cali, President of CTOS, praised the Institute in his speech for the hard work done to achieve so much success in having 10 lifters from the Institute going to the London Olympics.

CTOS Committee Member M. Olivier Pecqueux presents a tshirt to Maria Liku from Fiji

Patricia Patane also Committee Member of the CTOS with Toromon Takenibeia (KIR)


CTOS President Charles Cali presents a tshirt to Manual Minginfel (FSM)



The lifters from the Oceania Weightlifting Institute representing the many island nations of the Pacific, dominated the male section winning seven of the eight categories. Many NOC’s and National Federations took advantage of the institute by sending their top athletes to New Caledonia and thereby securing their success and medals.


The Institute on Friday 2nd August 2013 was visited by a French delegation of sporting champions and officials. The Delegation consisted of :

  • Laura Flesel-Colovic, twice Olympic gold medallist, World and European Champion in Fencing
  • Anne-Caroline Graffe, Olympic silver medallist and World and European Champion in Judo
  • Lara Grangeon, London Olympic representative, third at the Europeans and French champion in swimming.
  • Tony Estanguet, three times Olympic gold medallist, World and European Champion in Canoeing.
  • Christian Karembeu, team member 1998 France FIFA World Cup champions, 2000 European Champions and playing with great teams such as Sampdoria (Italy), Real Madrid (Spain), Middlesbrough (England), Olympiakos (Greece).
  • Dominique Charré, Deputy Director of Sports in the French Ministry of Sport and Education.
  • Felicia Ballanger, three times Olympic gold medallist, World champion and World Record Holder in Cycling.
  • Claude Fauquet, Consultant in high performance sports and management.
  • Gilbert Avanzini, specialist in sports psychology and past Director of sports at the French Sports Institute.
  • Gianni Cappai, co-ordinator of high performance sports at the Institute of Sport in France.

This elite group was accompanied by the CTOS President, Charles Cali, the Executive Director, Michel Quintin, the Acting President in New Caledonia in weightlifting, Jean-Paul Robelin, The DJS-NC Director Pierre Forest, the DJS-NC Education/Formation Service Jean-Paul Badosa, and the Adviser to the Sports Minister Sylvian Raffard Artigue.

This conference was organised by the New Caledonia Government in partnership with the CTOS and the emphasis was on high level sports performances leading up towards 2016 – 2020.The delegation was very impressed with the operation and success of the institute as well as the discipline.

From left: Mr Gianni Cappai, Mr Claude Fauquet, Mr Gilbert Avanzini, and Mr Dominique Charre are introduced to the athletes.

Manuel Minginfel from FSM, Paul Coffa, Christian Karembeu Lapua Lapua from Tuvalu and Tony Estanguet.

The French Sports Officials and sports superstars together with New Caledonia Government officials, leaders of the Comite Territorial Olympique Sportif and all the lifters of the Oceania Weightlifting Institute.

Sylvian Raffard Artigue introduces Tony Estanguet the triple Olympic Gold medallist in canoe and Member of the IOC

Paul Coffa introducing the Institute lifters to the official guests.


The Oceania Weightlifting Institute was the venue for the 2014 Oceania Championships and Olympic Youth Qualification

The Youth Olympic Qualification event was combined with the championships. As a result, the Institute was honoured with the presence of the President of the IWF, Dr Tamas Ajan who flew in all the way from Hungary. As well, the Institute was happy to have the IWF Director General, Mr Attila Adamfi, who together with his IWF Technical Team assisted in the smooth running of the competition.

The competition hall at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute

Dr Tamas Ajan receives a gift of appreciation at the Congress

Oceania lifters training outdoors only a few meters away from the competition hall.


What a great games Glasgow – Scotland turned out to be for the Institute lifters. History was created when Kiribati, David Katoatau won its first ever Commonwealth Games medal. Papua New Guinea also made history when they pocketed two gold medals with Dika Toua and Steven Kari. Nauru also won a silver medal with Itte Detenamo and Fiji won bronze with Apolonia Vaivai.

Gold - David Katoatau (KIR)

Gold - Dika Toua (PNG)

Gold - Steven Kari (PNG)

Silver - Itte Detenamo (NRU)

Bronze - Apolonia Vaivai (FIJ)



The lifters from the Oceania Weightlifting Institute representing the many island nations of the Pacific, dominated the male section winning seven of the eight categories. Many NOC’s and National Federations took advantage of the institute by sending their top athletes to New Caledonia and thereby securing their success and medals.


On Thursday, 4th June, a surprise visit was made by the New Caledonia Minister for Sport, Health and Youth, the Hon Valentine Eurisouke. She was accompanied by Ms Maximilienne Kavienereva, Assistant to the Minister.

This was the Minister's first visit to the Oceania Weightlifting Institute and she was pleasantly surprised and very pleased to see 25 athletes in residence coming from 12 countries of the pacific. She addressed the athletes and wished them all the very best for the Pacific Games. In her speech to the athletes, the Minister expressed how delighted she was that New Caledonia was able to contribute to their progress and their success.


The Institute was well represented amongst the medal winner at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby. At the opening ceremony, 50% of the countries’ flag bearers were weightlifters, most of these from the Institute. Dika Toua was the final baton runner and she lit the torch.



Thanks to the financial support of the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) and the Oceania Weightlifting Federation (OWF), a training camp was held at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Mont Dore - New Caledonia, for pacific lifters going to the Rio Olympic Games.


Twelve lifters - 10 men and 2 women - from the Oceania Weightlifting Institute residing in Mont Dore, New Caledonia, competed in the Australian International Open held in Brisbane on the 18th - 20th March. 2016. In the men categories, wherever the institute entered, they won their categories. The two women also dominated their categories.

Morea Baru, from Papua New Guinea, (institute lifter) won the best male lifter of the tournament. Whilst Jenly Wini from the Solomon Islands (institute lifter) won the best female lifter of the tournament. The twelve lifters used the Australian International Open tournament in Brisbane, as build up in preparation for the Oceania Championships and Olympic Qualification Event for the Rio Olympic Games.


Six lifters from the Institute took part in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Elson Brechtefeld (NRU)

Luisa Peters (COK)

Morea Baru (PNG)

Jenly Wini (SOL)

Tanu Jungblut (ASA)

David Katoatau (KIR)


Eileen Cikamatana – Fiji wins gold and Bronze in Penang

From 65kg clean & jerk in 2014 to 122kg in 2016. This is the story of Eileen Cikamatana from Fiji, an OTIP student who was discovered in Fiji by Joe Vueti and Peni Tawai. Joe selected her to attend the training camp in New Caledonia in 2014. She moved to the Institute in February of 2016 and within eight months she became the Youth World Champion in the clean & jerk in the 69kg category with a lift of 122kg at the 2016 Youth World Championships held in Penang in October. She also won bronze in the overall total with 215kg.


PARIS 2024

A delegation from Paris 2024, (one the two candidate cities for the 2024 Olympic Games) headed by the President of the Organising Committee, Mr. Bernard Lapasset, paid a courtesy visit to the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Mont Dore, New Caledonia.

Mr Lapasset was accompanied by Ms Sophie Lorant, Director of International Relations, Mr Pierre Forest, Youth and Sports Director of New Caledonia, Mr Michel Quintin, Director of the Comite Territorial Olympique Sportif and quite a few other officials coming from the City of Mont Dore and the CTOS.

Mr Lapasset was most impressed with the setup of the Oceania Weightlifting Institute and just as important with the Pacific Island athletes who train and stay at the Institute. Especially with the 8 lifters coming from the Institute representing different countries of the region who competed at the Rio Olympic Games.


Sensational institute weightlifter, 17 years of age, Eileen Cikamatana from Fiji, made history at the 2017 Junior World Championships held in Tokyo by winning two silver medals and one bronze medal. Eileen won a bronze medal in the snatch with a lift of 97kg, a silver medal in the clean & jerk with a lift of 132kg, only 1kg away from gold. She won the silver in the total of 229kg.

Eileen Cikamatana wins 2 silver and one bronze in Tokyo.


The performances of the lifters from the Institute, in some categories, were quite outstanding. Eileen Cikamatana (Fiji) won gold in the 90kg category and was the only Oceania gold medallist from all sports. She established twelve records in the Oceania Senior, Oceania Junior, Commonwealth Senior and Commonwealth Junior. Eileen snatched 111kg and clean & jerked 142kg for a 253kg total. Former institute lifter, Apolonia Vaivai (Fiji) won silver also in the 69kg category setting a new Oceania Senior record in the snatch of 105kg.


The Institute lifters were brilliant. Most of the flag bearers at the Opening Ceremony were weightlifters, which gives you an idea of the popularity and success of weightlifting in the Pacific Islands. None of the institute lifters competed at the World Championships a week earlier due to the importance of the Mini Games to the Pacific region. Many great performances were seen in Vanuatu and many institute lifters won medals during the three day tournament establishing many new records along the way.



With the financial assistance of the IWF Development Program, an Elite Training Camp was held at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Mont Dore, New Caledonia from the 24th January to the 4th February 2018.

The purpose of this training camp which was organised by the Oceania Weightlifting Federation, was to bring together the best regional lifters who have not only qualified for the Commonwealth Games but are also – most of them – medal prospects for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on April 4-15.

The camp produced some outstanding and inspirational performances. Leading coaches from the region also attended the camp. They were: Jerry Wallwork (Samoa), Joe Vueti (Fiji) and Tina Ball (New Zealand)


Institute lifters produced some outstanding results during at the Commonwealth Games. Steven Kari from PNG won a gold medal in the 94kg category, Eileen Cikamatana from Fiji won a gold medal in the 90kg category, Dika Toua won a silver medal in the 53kg category, Morea Baru won silver in the 62kg category, and Charisma Amoe-Tarrant competing for Nauru won a silver medal in the +90kg category. Solomon Islands made history when Institute lifter Jenly Wini won their first ever medal at a Commonwealth Games when she clinched the bronze medal in the 58kg category.

GOLD - Eileen Cikamatana (FIJ)

GOLD - Steven Kari (PNG)

SILVER - Morea Baru (PNG)

SILVER - Charisma Amoe-Tarrant (NRU)

SILVER - Dika Toua (PNG)

BRONZE - Jenly Wini (SOL)


The basketball stadium in Mont Dore was transformed in to an international weightlifting arena. Thanks to the Eleiko company for all the equipment which was donated to the Oceania Weightlifting Institute were used for the Oceania Championships. Seventeen platforms were available for training, eight platforms in the warm area plus the main platform on the stage. The webcast – 97 countries tuned in during the three days of competition. Thousands and thousands of viewers watched the event in Mont Dore, New Caledonia.

The Institute organised the 2018 Oceania Championships and Youth Olympic qualification event in Mont Dore – New Caledonia.


The Pacific Cup International was held at the Institute in Mont Dore, New Caledonia, on December 15th , 2018. Countries who participated were: Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Niue, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, and Kiribati.

The best female lifter of the tournament went to long time Institute lifter, Dika Toua from PNG, competing for the first time in her new bodyweight category of 49kg. The last time that Dika Toua weighed less than 49kg was at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, when as a 16 year old, she became the first female lifter, to lift the very first weight for women at an Olympic Games. Eighteen years later, she rewrote the Oceania records by snatching 78kg, clean & jerking 107kg and totalling 185kg. The best male lifter of the tournament went to another lifter, Ruben Katoatau from Kiribati, lifting in the 67kg category snatching 125kg, clean & jerking 161kg for a total of 286kg. Establishing new Oceania Senior records in the process. Institute lifter, Jenly Wini from the Solomon Islands, also rewrote the Oceania record books in the 59kg category with a snatch of 86kg, clean & jerk of 112kg and total of 198kg. Another institute lifter, Charisma Amoe-Tarrant from Australia, established new Oceania Junior records in the +87kg category, with 105kg snatch, 140kg clean & jerk, and 245kg total.


The Oceania Weightlifting Institute today with new equipment sponsored by ELEIKO

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