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PNG’s Baru takes Commonwealth Games silver

Monday 1 August 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Pacific Islands, Regional

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PNG’s Baru takes Commonwealth Games silver
Papua New Guinea's Morea Baru competes in the men's 61kg weightlifting event on day two of the Commonwealth Games at the NEC Arena in Birmingham. Photo: DARREN STAPLES

Papua New Guinea weightlifter Morea Baru borrowed his team-mate's national uniform to receive his second Commonwealth Games medal as his own one was too baggy.

Baru lifted 273kg in the men's 61kg category in England to replicate his silver medal at the 2018 Games in Australia.

Baru trained with Hall of Fame lifter Dika Toua at a makeshift gym at Toua's in-laws' home while gyms were closed by Covid-19 restrictions in PNG.

Toua, who also gained a silver medal at the 2018 Games, failed to get on the podium in Birmingham, finishing fifth in the women's 55kg category.

But she at least was able to help her team-mate be suitably dressed for the medal ceremony at the NEC Arena.

Gold medallist Malaysia's Aznil Bin Bidin Muhamad (C), silver medallist Papua New Guinea's Morea Baru and bronze medallist India's Gururaja Gururaja pose during the medal presentation ceremony for the mens 65kg weightlifting event on day two of the Commonwealth Games at the NEC Arena in Birmingham, central England, on July 30, 2022. (Photo by Darren Staples / AFP)
Gold medallist Malaysia's Aznil Bin Bidin Muhamad (centre), silver medallist Papua New Guinea's Morea Baru and bronze medallist India's Gururaja Gururaja. Photo: DARREN STAPLES

Boru, 32, is now looking towards the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria.

"The thing that keeps me going is the fact that Dika keeps going, and I look up to her," he said.

"Age doesn't matter, it's how you look at life and what you want to do with it, what you want to achieve."

Aznil Bin Bidin Muhamad won gold for Malaysia after lifting a total of 285kg, while Gururaja Gururaja of India took bronze.