After an exciting round one with Samoa taking the overall lead, round two is set to be even more thrilling.
Round two draw:
- Kiribati v Pacific 1
- New Zealand v Fiji
- Papua New Guinea v Nauru
- Australia v Samoa
- Solomon Islands v Pacific 2
The most anticipated match-up of the round is Australia going up against the dominant Samoa. After a massive first round, both teams look strong. It’s safe to say that team Australia will need to field a stronger side than last week to have a good shot at defeating the formidable Samoans. Australia will need to look at lifters like Ryley Porter, who was left out of the team in round one but went on to have a stellar performance in another competition that week.
Australia will also need to bank on lifters like Kiana Elliott and Eilleen Cikamatana lifting closer to their max potential, which could make this a very tight match-up on the women’s side. Kiana’s total in round one was 30kg+ under her PR. And Eileen lifted 19kg below her total. This week, Australia will need every kilo.
“I think we have an advantage over most countries in Oceania,” Jerry Wallwork, head coach of team Samoa, explains. Samoa’s lifters have been able to train right through the pandemic, whereas many other countries have had to go into lockdown, with gyms closing for significant amounts of time.
New Zealand is up against Fiji this week and will look to have another strong win. Fiji had a loss last round going down to Papua New Guinea by over 200kg. Looking at the cumulative totals minus bodyweight from round one, New Zealand totaled just under 1000kg more than Fiji (for a full rundown on how scoring works in this tournament, check this link).
Richie Patterson, president of Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand (OWNZ) plans to evolve his team-selection strategy throughout the competition.
“After the first round I’ve looked at what our collective total was, what Australia’s was, and I’ve already started doing the maths as to who we should select and how we will mitigate the difference. There’s no point in putting up our current numbers with our current team if we are 300kg behind,” Richie explained to TWP in an interview a couple of weeks ago.
After this round, even though it’s still far too early to call, we’ll have a good idea of team strengths and weaknesses heading into the remainder of the competition.