Top 10 finish for Qaqa

Fiji's Poama Qaqa in action during the 2018 Commonwealth Games weight-lifting 62kg men's category competition at the Carrara Sports Arena in Gold Coast, Australia, on Thursday. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Fiji's Poama Qaqa in action during the 2018 Commonwealth Games weight-lifting 62kg men's category competition at the Carrara Sports Arena in Gold Coast, Australia, on Thursday. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

FIVE years ago, Poama Qaqa never thought he would be in the sport of weight-lifting.

Fast forward to Thursday, the 21-year-old surprised even himself when he finished ninth overall in the men’s 62kg category of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

He was a happy man, saying he gave his best shot.

“I have done my best and I gave my all,” he said.

“We do not have good resources back at home, but we are determined to excel in the sport and take it to another level.

“I am so blessed to be able to compete at the Commonwealth Games because it is everyone’s dream to compete at the highest level. We do not have good facilities back at our village apart from a small gym.”

Qaqa’s first attempt of 113kg in the snatch was unsuccessful but he was successful in his second attempt.

His third attempt of 118kg was unsuccessful.

In the clean and jerk, he made a good lift of 142kg, however, his next two attempts at 149kg were not successful.

He had a total lift of 225kg.

Qaqa is originally from Baba settlement in Levuka, Ovalau, and had been training under the watchful eyes of Fiji coach Josefa Vueti.

“I did my personal best in the clean and jerk with the lift of 142kg,” he said.

“It was a tough category for me since it was my first Commonwealth Games.

“I have been in weight-lifting for about three years.

“I will now go home and train harder.”

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