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In the name of the father

22 Mar 06 22:08

An elated Sam Pera Senior from the Cook Islands.

An elated Sam Pera Senior from the Cook Islands.

A young Cook Islander has upstaged his father in the Men's Weightlifting 105kg event on day seven at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

In his first Commonwealth Games appearance, 17-year-old Sam Pera Jr surpassed his father's expectations - and out-lifted him by 12kg.

It was the first time that a father and son have competed in the same Weightlifting event at a Commonwealth Games.

"I came into this competition to beat my Dad," said an ecstatic Pera Jr. "And I did that. Before I left home, Mum said she'd prefer me to win, but she also said that Dad had more experience."
 
As always, Mum knows best.

Sam Pera Sr, 36, finished fourth at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games and 15th at the 2004 Athens Olympics, but the five-time Cook Island Sportsman of the Year joked that "it's getting too hard for an old man". 

Pera Jr lifted 132kg in the Snatch to take an early lead. The youngster was composed on the podium, but later admitted to feeling "pretty nervous".

Pera Jr then lifted 161kg in the Clean and Jerk to finish with a personal best of 293kg.

A gracious Pera Jr said afterwards that he planned to return to training for the World Junior Championships, and set himself for the next Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

"I've still got a long way to go," he said, "but I'm still young. Maybe I will be World Champion one day." Pera Sr's eyes lit up at the prospect. "And I'll be his coach."

Maybe father knows best too.

For more results, visit the Weightlifting Schedule and Results section of this Website.

- Games News Service

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