Secretary for the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council Ivan Pomaleu has congratulated Papua New Guinea Weightlifter Dika Toua on behalf of Prime Minister James Marape on being inducted into the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame.
Secretary Pomaleu congratulated Toua at a Reception held by the PNG Olympic Committee to welcome back the PNG team from the Mini South Pacific Games held in Saipan, the Northern Marianas and to farewell the Team for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
Mr. Pomaleu told Toua that the Prime Minister would have wanted to congratulate her himself but due to prior commitments, he could not be there in person.
“The Prime Minister has heard stories of how you rose up from your humble beginnings in the Hanuabada to making Papua New Guinea become a prominent weight-lifting sport country in the world and that is an achievement that could only be achieved through great sacrifice and hard work,” he said.
“You make us proud and show the world that Papua New Guinea people, especially women can achieve anything they set their mind too.”
“You started your sporting career at a very young age and at just 16 years of age, you became the first weightlifter to take the stand for women weight lifting, when it was first introduced at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and became the first female weightlifter to compete in five Olympic Games,” he said.
“Your hard work and sacrifice while juggling your family life, has now earned you a place in the International Weightlifting Federation’s Hall of Fame.”
Secretary Pomaleu also congratulated the team that represented Papua New Guinea at the Mini Pacific Games. The team finished at the top of the medals tally with 33 gold medals, 28 silver and 9 bronze.
Mr. Pomaleu said 23 of those Gold Medals were won by the Athletics team and the team also won the honour of having the Best Female and Male Athletes of the Games as well as the Best Coach.