The famous quote “If you want something, go get it” rings true for Pacific Games triple gold medalist and weightlifter Taniela Rainibogi as his father Sireli Rainibogi shares his journey to becoming Fiji’s current top weightlifter.
Sireli says, growing up, Taniela has always played rugby in primary school and secondary school but has always had a passion to get into weightlifting.
Sireli says when Taniela was still in primary school, he had always wanted to do weightlifting and had asked Sireli if he could try it out.
He says Taniela was also inspired by those famous weightlifters from Levuka the likes of Manueli Tulo, who went on to represent Fiji, and he has always wanted to achieve what they have achieved.
Sireli says Taniela asked him if he could try out weightlifting and if he could go and train in the gym at Baba in Levuka where most of the famous weightlifters in Fiji including Tulo started.
Sireli says his cousin took Taniela to the gym in Baba and started training him there while he was still in primary school.
He adds that Taniela later joined John Wesley College in Suva for secondary education and played in the Deans competition representing the school in the under-18 grade in 2015.
Sireli says his son went through a lot of challenges trying to get into the National squad but he kept encouraging Taniela to keep on believing and trusting.
He says Taniela went as far as leaving school to focus on his weightlifting career and he has never looked back from there.
He further says most of the time he had to find his way to training because he was so passionate about the sport and it has paid off.
Sireli acknowledged Taniela’s trainer Henry Elder and his wife Della Elder for mentoring and looking after him.
He says the whole family is proud of Taniela’s achievement and says they would always print a t-shirt each for the family with Taniela’s photo to show their support for him.
Taniela will be competing in Qatar next Wednesday in his bid to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
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