Jerome Tura, from left, Manine Lynch, Luia Peters and Martin Stetka are part of a CIWF contingent heading to New Zealand. PHOTO: AL WILLIAMS/22022202
Cook Islands weightlifters are taking on the tough competition overseas for the first time in nearly four years.
Commonwealth hopefuls Jerome Tura and Manine Lynch were
among a delegation of five who flew out of Rarotonga yesterday, bound for the
2022 New Zealand International event in Auckland this coming weekend.
It’s the first time in nearly four years that Cook Islands
weightlifters have competed offshore.
Team Cook Islands manager Martin Stetka said the pair have
been in intense training during recent months, meeting for nine training
sessions across six days a week.
“We are looking pretty good.”
Jerome Tura will be lifting in the men’s under 81kg weight
class and Manine Lynch will be competing in the women’s 87kg plus.
“We could be looking at Commonwealth qualifiers, that is
what we are looking for,” Stetka said.
Both athletes are set to compete in the snatch, and clean
jerk disciplines – Tura on Friday and Lynch on Saturday.
The competition will be streamed live for those in the Cook
Islands who are keen to catch the action.
It is a first international outing for the pair who showed
promise early on during CrossFit training.
Both Tura and Lynch said they were excited at the prospect
of making their mark on the international stage.
Tura, weighing in at 81.7 kg yesterday prior to his flight
to NZ, has a snatch record of 118 kg, and clean and jerk record of 150 kg.
This summer event will be the first international
competition to be held in New Zealand since the 2017 World Masters Games, and
serves as one of the final recognised events for athletes seeking to qualify
for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Team Cook Islands delegation is led by Dr Teariki Puni (President) of CIWF, Luisa Peters (Vice President of CIWF and national coach), and Martin Stetka (executive member of the CIWF and Manager).