Don Opeloge nails gold medal for Samoa at Commonwealth Games


Samoa nailed the first gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, by 23-year-old weightlifter Don Opeloge who smashed the Commonwealth Games record in the Men’s 96kg.

Radio New Zealand reported that Opeloge snatched 171kg and clean and jerked 201kg giving him an aggregate score of 381kg – a massive 33kg ahead of Vikas Thaur of India.

It’s a medal upgrade for the Samoan who did a brief dance after his winning lift having taken silver in the men’s 85kg event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia.

It also means he joins his brother Niusila and sister Ele as a champion at the Games.

Niusila Opeloge took gold at Delhi 2010, but had served a two-year doping ban from 2007, while Ele Opeloge claimed victory in the women’s over-75kg at the same Games.

All up, Pacific athletes collected three medals in weightlifting within 24 hours with Maximina Uepa picked up a bronze medal for Nauru.

Competing in the 76kg women’s division, Uepa lifted a total of 215kg, just 3kg ahead an English lifter.

Elsewhere in Birmingham, Fiji won silver in both men’s and women’s rugby sevens.