Steven Kari

Weightlifters return home

The three gold medallists: Morea Baru, Dika Toua and Steven Kari, came back today to the delight of their families and sponsor, Trukai Industries.

The trio were then escorted into their village at Hanuabada where they met up with families and friends.

They will be in the country until Thursday and leave for New Caledonia for another intense 4 months before the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Kari secures 3 gold medals

Kari lifted a total of 350kg in the men’s 94kg weight division.

It has been 8 months since Kari has gotten back into action, training hard at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in New Caledonia under Paul Coffa.

His lift in the snatch was a walk in the park as he took on the challenge from Samoan lifter Siaosi Leuo.

Kari’s first attempt saw him lift 145kg, his second attempt he managed 150kg and his third attempt of 155kg was a good lift in which he secured the first gold medal.

Six PNG weightlifters hope to qualify for 2018 Games

To compete at next year’s Commonwealth Games in weightlifting, an athlete must now qualify as no longer can countries send a team to compete.

The six PNG lifters are currently training at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute, namely Thelma Toua, Dika Toua, Morea Baru, Toua Udia, Steven Kari and Lorraine Harry.

Oceania coach Paul Coffa confirmed that only fifteen lifters in the Oceania region, one per country, per category will be eligible to compete in the Gold Coast Games.

In the Oceania region there are only two events this year, where an athlete can qualify.

Kari and Toua may miss Rio Olympics

This was announced by Papua New Guinea’s Chef de Mission Emma Waiwai when speaking to ABC Radio Australia recently.

Waiwai said, this may be possible because of two reasons, he may be injured or facing certain qualifying needs. It could be one of those two reasons.

On the other end, Papua New Guineas weightlifting queen and Commonwealth gold medalist Dika Toua's place in the team isn't guaranteed also as she has a long way to work her way back to her standard.

Two weightlifters from 15 to qualify for Rio

PNG Weightlifting Federation president Sir John Dawanicura says they’ll be sending Toua Udia and sisters Thelma and Dika Toua back to join the two male athletes Morea Baru and Fred Oala.  

The five athletes will train there leading up to the Oceania Championships and Olympic Qualifiers from May 23-28 in Fiji.

Baru is also preparing to attend the Australian Open International at Brisbane in March to qualify on merit for the 2016 Rio Olympics in August.

PNG Weightlifting: Door still open for Steven Kari

PNGWF vice-president Frank Robby said he had gone to Kari’s house last month to inform him of a special invitation from the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) for Kari to attend a one week training program in Nouméa.  Kari refused the invite however.

“Kari was just one of the top weightlifters from all over the Oceania region that were invited to attend the training program.

“I was a bit hurt by his decision but I respect it,” said Robby.

He said Kari is still also under an injury cloud which he made clear was not “weightlifting related”.