Solomon Islands weightlifter queen Jenly Wini who created history at the recent Commonwealth Game has inspired young students to pursue weightlifting in the future.
The Commonwealth game bronze medallist for the past three days has been conducting Oceania Talented Identification program at Koloale Community High School, Hips school and Mbokonavera Community High School.
The program is organized by Oceania Weightlifting Federation (OWF) through funding from the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) to identify talented weightlifting athletes around the Pacific.
Wini said the Oceania Talented Identification program is an annual program where every coaches or selected athletes from the pacific countries conducted at schools to select one representative and indentify athletes who are interested for training.
She said from the three days programme she will select one student to attend training camp and watch elite weightlifting games later on September.
She said she was impressed to see a lot students have shown interest to pursue weightlifting in the future.
“I was impressed to see there are a lot of students that attend the program at Koloale Community High School.
“The school hall was fully packed with students who keen to learn about weightlifting sport,” she said.
Wini said on the second day on Tuesday there were also high number of students who attended the program at Hips school.
Yesterday Wini concluded the program at Mbokonavera CHS where students were given the opportunity to lift 2.5 kg and 5 kg.
Several students who took up the challenge to lift the 2.5 kg and 5kg in front of their fellow students were inspired by the success story and presence of Wini at their school.
Wini’s success story has a long history which she never regretted.
She told Star Sports that she began her sporting career as a rugby player when she was 16 years old.
“When I play rugby I used to walk pass the weightlifting training centre and did not see female athletes training so I decided to walk in and starting training,” she said.
Wini said that happened in 2009 which on the same year she makes her debut at the Mini South Pacific Game in Cook Islands.
At the Mini South Pacific Game she won three silvers in the 69 kg snatch, 69 kg Clean and Jerk and 69kg total.
From there she continues to raise her profile. She competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics at the women’s 58 kg category. She was the flagbearer of Solomon Islands sports team in the opening ceremony.
In the event, Wini finished in 17th.
She won the 2013 Oceania Championships in her weight category, the first female weightlifter from the Solomon Islands to do so. She also competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, finishing 8th in the women’s 58 kg.
She was also the Solomon Islands flagbearer at this event. She competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in the women’s 58 kg.
She finished in 15th place and the flagbearer for the Solomon Islands during the opening ceremony. In 2018 she became the first Solomon Islands athlete to win a Commonwealth Games medal, finishing third in the women’s 58kg weightlifting event on the Gold Coast
Meanwhile, she will depart for New Caledonia today to continue with her training.
By CHARLES KADAMANA