The Sol2023 Pacific Games weightlifting competition has been a family affair for Donga siblings Stan and Rowena, who claimed three bronze medals each on day one and two of the action at Maranatha Hall.
Elder brother Stan picked up on Tuesday where his younger sister Rowena left off on Monday, winning three bronze medals for the host nation in the men’s 67kg division, following Rowena’s triple bronze in the women’s 49kg division.
“I’m so happy and proud of both our achievements in this year’s Pacific Games in Honiara,” Stan told the Pacific Games News Service. “This is a testament of all the dedication and hard work throughout all these years.”
The 25-year-old, who missed out on a place on the Pacific Games podium in Samoa four years ago, admitted that he is now more experienced and confident.
“The last Pacific Games was my first and a totally new experience for me with not much confidence and as a debutant that year, I was only doing my best to put my rankings on the board”.
Stan showed absolute strength on day two of competition, with a total lift of 238kg in the men’s 67kg weight division.
“My focus now will be on the 2025 Mini Games in Palau, where I will be looking to build on from this year’s bronze medal,” he added.
Sixteen-year-old Rowena introduced herself to the Pacific Games scene on day one of competition, claiming three bronze medals for her country in the women’s 49kg weight division.
“I am super proud of our achievements on home soil in front of our friends and families because we both tried our best to at least reach the podium, we worked hard for it, and we finally did it.”
“With this 2023 Pacific Games now done and dusted I will be looking to build from this year’s achievement and improve and learn more in the future competitions ahead.”
Both siblings poured out all the praises back to their father Eddie Donga, who is also a veteran of the Sport of weightlifting in the country.
“My father has always been my role model growing up and, as a former weightlifter, he was the one who introduced as to this sport and coached us from the very beginning. Up until now he always stayed with us and always encouraged us with the help of our national weightlifting coaches”, Rowena added.
The siblings also took the time to thank all their friends, families and rest of the vocal local supporters who turned up in huge numbers to back the local athletes.
By Timothy Inifiri Jnr, Pacific Games News Service.