As round three approaches and the tournament really starts to take shape, we are seeing more and more online competitions popping up. None, however, are offering the kind of prize money the Oceania Weightlifting Federation is putting up.
The competition doesn’t use any video technology, despite the accessibility of such. Given how much money is at stake, we would expecting the OWF to enforce rigorous video verification of lifts.
At the moment, the tournament is run based on trust; the OWF has faith in the various national federations to do the right thing. It’s great that this level of trust exists in the region’s weightlifting community, but there is nearly $50,000 up for grabs throughout this tournament. That’s a lot of money to hand out based only on trust.
We spoke to a couple of national representatives who say they would like to have seen some kind of video verification process. This isn’t only to guarantee fair and transparent judging itself, but also for the purpose of advertising the sport more widely — something that has been lacking in the past year.
Despite this concern, the tournament seems to be running smoothly and it has exhibited some truly impressive lifting.
Can New Zealand hold the lead?
New Zealand leapfrogged the favourites, Samoa, last round with a dominant performance over Fiji. This week, our neighbours across the Tasman are up against Nauru who, despite being a young team, can put up a fight.
New Zealand remains the favourite in this matchup, so it’s going to come down to how many kilos they can win by, and what Samoa manages to put out in its matchup with PNG, who are sitting 6th on the overall table after two rounds, with a win over Fiji and a loss to Nauru.
Samoa needs a strong performance against PNG to retake the number one spot. But New Zealand needs PNG to dig deep this round, and only concede a marginal win to Samoa.
Australia slid down the leaderboard after a crushing defeat from Samoa in round two but would look to hit back strong against the 7th-placed Solomon Islands. If Australia put together a big team and went after this round putting up a big score we may see them move back into the top three.
Kiribati sits in third place at the moment and is up against Fiji, who sits in 9th place. Fiji has yet to win a round. Arguably, Kiribati had an easy start to the tournament as their first three matchups pit them against teams sitting 8th, 10th and now, in this coming round, 9th on the scoreboard. It’s only going to get tougher from here.
Full round three match-ups: