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Pravin Naran In Vanuatu
Friday, December 08, 2017

WEIGHT-LIFTER Eileen Cikamatana continued with her outstanding performance when she won three gold medals in the women's 90 kilogram category at the Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila, Vanuatu yesterday.

In the course of her victory the Taviya, Ovalau lass has set a Commonwealth Games record in the clean and jerk event.

Cikamatana previously held the Commonwealth women's 90 kilogram category record of 142kg in the clean and jerk and lifted 143kg yesterday as she continued her campaign towards next year's Commonwealth Games in Australia.

In a dominating performance Cikamatana also lifted 105kg in the snatch to give her a total of 248kg.

Cikamatana had set her Commonwealth record in the clean and jerk in September during the Asian Indoor Games in Turkmenistan.

"It is very emotional moment and I feel on top of the world after setting the record though I missed out in snatch," she said.

"I have been trained to beat the Commonwealth Games record and that is all after the hard training. I started with a humble beginning when I was in Year 8 and my teacher asked if I wanted to join weight-lifting, but my dad did not agree. However, my dad agreed when he was approached the second time. Fiji coach Jo Vueti helped me become a good weight-lifter and my love for weight-lifting started."

Vueti said top coach Paul Coffa had worked hard with Cikamatana to get a gold medal.

"When I tested her in the gym I could see she had potential to be a good weight-lifter and she got all the attributes and if you want to see a champion then one should see Eileen," Vueti said after the win.

"I brought her up and I never regretted asking her mum and dad to allow her to join weight-lifting for full time and here she is breaking all the records. If one is supported from home like Eileen then you can get success."

Coffa, meanwhile, said he could see Fiji getting its second a gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games through weight-lifting.

Cikamatana and her team continue to work to lift 150kg in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast next year.

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