Our dear friend Maamaloa Lolohea from Tonga passed away yesterday, 21st May, in his home of Vava’u (northern island) Tonga at the age of 52 years.
He was known to all of us as the gentle giant. Maamaloa lifted for over 10 years representing Tonga and he was very proud of wearing his Tongan national lifting suit.
Maamaloa trained at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute from 2003 until he retired from lifting in 2009 after the Mini Games in the Cook Islands.
- He competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, placing 13th.
- He competed also at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, placing 6th.
- He just missed out on a bronze medal at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games where he placed 4th.
- He was the gold medallist at the South Pacific Games in Suva in 2003.
- He was also gold medallist at the South Pacific Championships in Tonga in 2003. Placing 2nd in the Oceania Senior and Commonwealth Senior Championships.
Maamaloa was also a recipient of the Oceania Coaching Diploma. Thereafter he was the national coach of Tonga for many years. His contribution to the OTIP program, in the initial stages was outstanding.
Maamaloa Lolohea will be greatly missed, not only in the weightlifting world but also as a dear friend. Maamaloa was possibly one of the most loyal people you could hope to meet. He greatly treasured friendship.
On behalf of the Oceania Weightlifting Federation, we extend our deepest condolences to the Tonga Weightlifting Federation, to the Tonga National Olympic Committee and of course most important we extend our deepest sympathies to his family.
Paul Coffa MBE
In Memory of Maamaloa Lolohea