By Michelle Jerewai, Port Moresby 2015 Games News Service
PORT MORESBY, July 6 – Phillipa Malone (AUS) has won two out of three gold medals in the women’s -63kg category at the Port Moresby 2015 Pacific Games at PNG Power Dome on Monday night.
Malone’s total of 188kg was enough to see off Papua New Guinea’s Sandra Ako (183kg) and Australian teammate Kanna Elliot (181kg) for overall gold, and she also took the snatch gold with a lift of 86kg.
Elliot (83kg) and Ako (80kg) took silver and bronze in the snatch.
In the clean and jerk, Ako lifted 103kg to win gold ahead of Malone (102kg) and Elliot (98kg).
“It feels so awesome and it is a huge honour to be invited to participate in the Pacific Games,” Malone said afterwards.
“It’s a massive privilege to be here and to be competing alongside other athletes from the Pacific. The sporting venue is great, we feel comfortable and everything is great.”
Meanwhile the 21-year-old Ako was thrilled to win a gold medal in front of a home crowd.
“This is the first time for me to win a gold medal for my country Papua New Guinea and I am so proud,” Ako said.
“It was my first time to participate at the lighter bodyweight which I did very well. I want to thank all my family, especially my dad and aunty.”
“I wish my grandparents were here to support me.”
Ako also hoped her performance would inspire the youth of Papua New Guinea to get involved in the sport.
“I would like to encourage all upcoming weightlifters to focus and to be mentally fit,” Ako said.
“This sport of weightlifting is not an easy sport, it’s a mind game. Lifters have to fight and must be mentally strong to do well.”
Both Australia and Papua New Guinea will be hoping for more gold on Tuesday and Wednesday, the final two days of weightlifting at Port Moresby 2015.
GNS mj/pg for more information visit www.portmoresby2015.com