Weightlifting: Taretiita’s time to shine

Taretiita_Tabaroua_6Following on from his teammate’s success yesterday, Sunday 27th July saw Taretiita Tabaroua represent Kiribati at the Clyde Auditorium the home of weightlifting for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Taretiita competed in the Men’ss 77kg Group C category against 8 other athletes including one from the not so far away nation of Niue, Jack Feleti.

With most of the seats in the auditorium occupied, the atmosphere at the Clyde was inspiring for each and every athlete with the crowd getting behind everyone. They were especially loud for Taretiita as he walked out onto the stage as the 8th athlete to take to the floor in the snatch section of the event. Taretiita jointly started on the heaviest starting weight of the session in the snatch along with the athlete from Barbados.

During this first section of the session, the snatch, the weight must be lifted in one movement so that the athletes’ arms are fully extended above their head. Taretiita had 2 ‘Good Lifts’ with a weight of firstly 105kg followed by a lift of 110kg. Unfortunately his third and therefore, final lift of the snatch was unsuccessful leaving him in 2nd place after all 3 lifts in the snatch.

He was the 5th athlete to make an appearance in the Clean & Jerk section of the session with a successful starting weight of 135kg. The audience clapped as he walked out onto the mat where he made this 2 movement lift of 135kg look easy and smooth unlike some of the athletes that had come before him. Taretiita spoke about how the spectators’ encouragement helped him when he said, “I felt happy when I was lifting as many people supported me and my country.” He increased the weight of this first lift by 10kg ready for his next lift; this lift of 145kg was a ‘Good Lift’ once again. With one more attempt at the clean and jerk the crowd sat and wondered what weight he would further go up to.

Increasing the weight by another 5kg meant that if he was successful he would move into first place. Unfortunately, after the clean section of the clean and jerk the judges gave him 3 red lights meaning that this lift was a ‘No Lift.’ This gave him a total weight 255kg putting him in second place in his group. Takenibeia Toromon, who competed the day, before expressed his feelings about his teammate’s performance when he said “I feel proud of him, but know in the future he will only get better.” Taretiita is only 19 and after his experience at the Commonwealth Games plans to go home and take a break for a few months and then to get back into training and try hard for the events that will occur in the future.

This article was produced by Gemma Martin of The Reporters’ Academy, the official media of the Pacific Nations at Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Currently reporting from the athletes village. The Reporters’ Academy is a youth media production company integrated into the world of sport, media and education.

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