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Sunday, August 1, 2021

PNG women lifter's unique achievement !!

Can you connect Cricketers – Wilfred Rhodes, DB Close,FE Woolley, GA Headley and Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar ??

Papua New Guinea,  is a group of islands located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.  It is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world - 848 different languages are listed for the country, of which 12 have no known living speakers.  Though mining provides impetus to the economy, many people live in extreme poverty.  After being ruled by three external powers since 1884, Papua New Guinea established its sovereignty in 1975 after Australia ceased to administer it. It became a separate Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II reigning as its Head of State.

Papua New Guinea's women weightlifter Loa Dika Toua made history on day 1 – 24.7.2021  at the Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first woman weightlifter to compete at the games five times. Her career started at 16, when she became the first-ever female Olympian lifter. At this year's games, Toua belted out a scream and smiled at the camera as she grabbed the bar weighing about 368 pounds.  "I am so proud of this moment, I hope the young girls in my country follow my footsteps," Toua told Reuters.

Her Olympic journey has taken her to Australia, Greece, China, Britain. She skipped the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, giving her position to her sister, but financial issues stopped the country from competing that year. Toua was  placed sixth in the 2004 Athens Games, her highest score.  "You can dream of attending one Olympics, and if you're lucky enough, you can make it to two. But I've made it to five Olympic Games, you don't even dream about this," Toua told Reuters.

The Tokyo Olympics will feature several trailblazing women, including Georgian shooter Nino Salukvadze, who will be the first woman at nine Olympics in any sport. Gymnast Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan is defying age and odds as she continues to vault at 46.

When women's weightlifting was introduced as an Olympic sport in 2000, Papua New Guinea's then 16-year-old Loa Dika Toua became the first-ever female Olympian lifter. On Saturday in Tokyo, the now 37-year-old athlete did it for the fifth time. Wearing her country's flag colours of red and black, Toua grabbed the bar with a scream, lifted 167 kg in total and smiled in joy, making a heart gesture with her hands at the television camera that she said was for her children. "This would have been my sixth, but in 2016 Rio Olympics I pulled out from the team to give my spot to my sister. Unfortunately due to financial constraints of the country, we couldn't send our team there."

Amid coronavirus restrictions, her achievement in returning to the Games after previously lifting in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London was witnessed live by just a handful of journalists, judges, coaches and other athletes - an achievement nearly thwarted after she contracted tuberculosis in 2013. Coming from a family of weightlifters, Toua was encouraged to get involved in the sport by her aunt. "I had just turned 16 when I attended the Sydney Olympics, and it was nerve-wrecking. It was my third international competition ever and it was an amazing experience, being called an Olympian," Toua said.

That list on top is that of Test Cricketers who had the most career span :  Wilfred Rhodes of England debuted on 1st June 1899, played across the century for 30 years 315 days playing 58 matches, followed by Close, Woolley, Headley and then fifth in the list is Sachin who played from 15.11.1989 till 16.11.2013 spanning 24 years and 1 day – playing 200 Tests !

In One dayers,  it is Sachin who tops the list 18.12.1989 to 18.3.2012 – 22 years 91 days – 463 matches in all; followed by Sanath Jayasuriya 445 matches in 21years+; Javed Miandad 233; Chris Gayle 301; Shoaib Malik 287 and P Arvinda de Silva 308 matches in 18 y 352 days.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar




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