The tiny Pacific nation, Samoa, won its second gold medal ever in the history of Commonwealth Games when super woman Ele Opeloge broke records in a series of smart lifts en route to win top honours in the women's over 75 kg class of the weightlifting event at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex here on Sunday.
In a show of brutal strength, technique and aggression, the 25-year-old added all three Games records to her name and rewrote two Commonwealth championship records to truly emerge the best lifter of this weight class. Only three, Maryam Usman of Nigeria, Deborah Acason of Australia and to some extent India's defending champion Geeta Rani were in the competition. It was the Indian who went out of contention first leaving the other three to fight it out.
But Ele, who weighs 123.09 kg, made her first move when the rest of the field had weathered away. She lifted 120 kg and raised it to 125 before failing at 130 in the snatch. By then Deborah had improved the previous record of 105 kg set by India's Simple Kaur Bhumrah twice to 106 and 110 before the Samoan took over and raised it to 120 and then to 125.
The story was almost similar in the clean and jerk. Geeta and Deborah stopped at 135 and Maryam went up to 140. Ele began with 150 and then effortlessly cleared 160. Lack of competition and motivation to push her further, she failed to hoist 165. This gave her a record total of 285, new Games and Commonwealth championship record. The 165 also broke Ele's Commonwealth championship record by 10 kg.
When Maryam cleared 140, Geeta's record of 137 went out of the books. Ele broke it twice thereafter setting the record at 160. The total record of 241 by Geeta also underwent four changes. First Deborah raised it to 245, Maryam increased it by 10 kg and then Ele took it to 275 and 285 thus improving the existing Commonwealth record of 281 held by her. Geeta, who had a snatch lift of 100 and a clean and jerk effort of 135, ended fourth with a total 235kg.
Keywords: Commonwealth Games