Papua New Guinea’s most experienced Olympian, Dika Toua, competing in her fourth Olympics at the London 2012 Games, showed some of what has gotten her this far by putting together a respectable performance in the women’s 53kg weightlifting category.
PNG’s best female weightlifter snatched 79kg and lifted 95kg in the clean & jerks for a total of 174kg. However the 52.4kg weightlifter was quick to admit that she was disappointed not to be able to post a higher total, especially in the clean & jerk where she failed in her two attempts to lift 100kg, “My total score was not as high as I would have liked. I thought I had it with my clean & jerk but it just didn’t happen. But I am happy with being able to represent PNG at my fourth Olympics” said Toua.
Coming back from an extended absence from the sport after having two children, Dika claimed three gold medals at the Pacific Games last year lifting 65kg in the snatch and 85kg in the clean & jerk for a total of 150kg. She has since been based in Noumea at the Oceania Weightlifting Institution preparing for the Olympics under the watchful eye of Coach Paul Coffa in the lead-up to London.
In the lead-up to the 53kg female weightlifting group B session, the fact that Dika was the first ever female weightlifter to lift at an Olympics when it was introduced at the 2000 Sydney Olympics was mentioned on several occasions to the crowd. The small PNG contingent in the crowd including the PNG Sport Federation & Olympic Committee President and PNG Weightlifting President, Sir John Dawanincura, PNGSFOC Secretary General Auvita Rapilla, Trukai Industries Andrew Daubney and wife Deborah and Chef de Mission Syd Yates were on hand to cheer Dika on.
Dika’s participation at the London 2012 Olympic Games may be over, but she has already mentioned her desire to participate at future international events, after she weighs up her options.
The winner of the women’s 53kg category was Zulfiya Chinshanlo from Kazakhstan, who set a new world record in the clean & jerk and a new overall total Olympic record. PNG’s other weightlifter at the London Olympics, Steven Kari, will compete on August 3rd in the men’s 85kg category.