The 2012 Oceania Weightlifting Championships and continental Olympic qualification came to an end on Saturday June 9 in Apia, Samoa. In the men’s division only five spots were given to the Oceania continent. This meant that the top five teams in the men received one spot each for London 2012 Olympic Games. They were:
1st Australia with 148 points.
2nd Kiribati with 142 points.
3rd Fiji with 141 points.
4th New Zealand with 139 points.
5th PNG with 127 points.
Missing out on a spot for the London 2012 Olympic Games was American Samoa in 6th place with 117 points. Tonga in 7th place with 116 points. And the two most powerful Pacific weightlifting countries Nauru and Samoa came 8th and 9th place respectively with 110 points and 99 points. This was due to both teams suffering injuries and therefore lifters were eliminated from the tournament. Nineteen Oceania countries competed including the FSM.
In the women only the top four countries received one spot each for London 2012 Olympic Games. They were:
1st Samoa with 106 points
2nd PNG with 103 points
3rd Fiji with 98 points
4th Australia with 98 points also, with Fiji taking 3rd position on a count back.
Missing out was New Zealand in 5th position with 94 points. And Solomon Islands in 6th position with 53 points.
It was great to see that three times Olympian, Manuel Minginfel from the FSM, qualified on his own merit in the 62kg Men’s weight category, and therefore he will be competing in London 2012 Olympic Games for the FSM in his fourth Olympic Games. His performance in Samoa was brilliant according to competition manager and coach Paul Coffa. His total of 280kg placed him as the BEST WEIGHTLIFTER of the entire tournament. To qualify on your own merit, you need to be in the top 15 in the world. He was the only Oceania lifter who qualified on his own merit at the 2012 Oceania Weightlifting Championships.
Congratulations to Manuel Minginfel. He continues to be a great ambassador for our country and a role model to our youth. Since February, he has been training full time at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in New Caledonia funded by a London 2012 Olympic Games Athlete scholarship. He will compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games in the 62kg Men’s weight category at 2.30pm on Monday, July 30.