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Kiribati claims historic medal

Friday, August 01, 2014

The tiny Pacific island of Kiribati is celebrating a first Commonwealth Games medal after David Katoatau won gold in weightlifting's 105kg Group A.

Katoatau, 30, lifted 148kg in the snatch and 200kg in the clean and jerk.

New Zealand's Stanislav Chalaev clinched silver, while England's Ben Watson claiming an unexpected bronze.

"I came here hoping to finish in the top five so to get bronze is the best day of my life," said 24-year-old Watson, who is from Oxford.

Katoatau smiled as the national anthem of Kiribati was played at the Clyde Auditorium before the enthusiastic crowd burst into a round of applause.

Kiribati — which won independence from the United Kingdom in 1979 — is a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean with a population of about 100,000.

"I am so proud to have earned Kiribati a first medal at a major event," said Katoatau, who finished 17th out of 21 in the same category at the 2012 Olympics.

Watson, who is from the St Birinus Club in Didcot, led after the snatch after successfully lifting 157kg.

But despite being cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd, he could not compete with Katoatau or Chalaev in the clean and jerk.

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