by Shane Saroya – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea weightlifting champion, Dika Toua, is confident on winning three gold medals in the snatch, clean-and-jerk and total in the 53kg division come July’s Pacific Games, in Port Moresby.
The 30-year-old said she is confident she would retain her title as the champion after dominating the sport over the past three games.
Toua has been competing on the world and regional stage since 2000 when she represented the country at the Sydney Olympics at the age of 15.
She was the first woman to lift weights at the Olympic Games, competing in the 48kg category in 2000.
She finished sixth in the women’s 53kg weight class at the 2004 Olympic in Athens, Greece, lifting a total of 177.5kg.
Toua was the country’s flag-bearer during these games.
In 2006, she won a silver medal in the same weight at the Commonwealth Games in Melborne, and won a gold in the 53kg class in 2007 Pacific Games, setting a new games record.
She won a gold medal in the 53kg category at the 2008 Oceania Weightlifting championships, with a total of 190kg.
Toea was qualified to compete for Papua New Guinea in the 53kg event at the 2008 in Beijing, China.
She said, PNG has one of the most resilient weightlifting teams at the Games, with Commonwealth Game men’s 90kg division champion, Steven Kari competing.
Toua will travel to New Caledonia early next month for her last training phase with Oceania Weightlifting Institute director and Oceania head coach, Paul Coffa.