Tuesday, July 7, 2015

FSM weightlifter wins gold at Pacific Games

By Jim Tobin
Monday, July 06
Port Moresby, PNG
A few hours ago, on Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Manuel Minginfel, famous Olympic weightlifter from Yap competed in his fifth Pacific Games (formally known as the South Pacific Games).  At age 37, he is the oldest athlete competing in Weightlifting at the games.
Minginfel completed in the 69kg division with 11 other lifters from Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, PNG, Kiribati, Guam, Tuvalu and Nauru. This is the first Pacific Games that Australia and New Zealand have participated in.
Amazingly, Minginfel won 2 gold medals in the Snatch and Overall Weight, and a silver medal in the Clean & Jerk.  His Snatch lift was 120kg, Clean & Jerk was 156kg and total weight was 276kg.
Minginfel has been training the past few months in New Caledonia at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute, trained by world famous coach Paul Coffa.  After Minginfel won gold today, Coffa stated – “the old man did it – he beat the young guns again”.  Minginfel was not a favourite to win the gold medals.  His FSM coach Ronald Etscheit stated before the competition started this morning – “TEAM FSM and I just hope that Manuel will win a medal. We are all very proud of him”.
Manuel's first appearance at a Pacific Games was at the Mini Games in Pago Pago in 1997.   Since that time, he has competed in every single Pacific Games and Mini Games, winning a total of 21 gold medals and 6 silver medals.  The FSM National Olympic Committee is working with the Pacific Games Council to confirm if Minginfel now holds the record for winning the most gold medals by an athlete in the history of the Pacific Games.
Minginfel was awarded a Rio 2016 Olympic Games athlete training scholarship in January 2015 and will continue to try to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games.

2015 Pacific Games events began on Friday, July 03 and will continue until July 18.  More releases with updates on Soccer, Tennis, Swimming, Track and Field and Boxing will be forwarded. 

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