Do not let this young man’s age fool you. At just 16-years-old weightlifter Ditto Ika will be making his debut for Team Nauru during the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
The teenager will be competing in the 67kg category and is part of a 16 member Team Nauru contingent.
According to team officials Ika is a surprise package and unknown to competitors in the region and the globe.
Labelled a potential gold medal prospect for Nauru, Ika is joined by weightlifters Ezekiel Moses, Maximina Uepa, and Nancy Abouke for the Games in Brimingham.
The team consists of 11 male and five female athletes and they will be competing in five sports – boxing, weightlifting, judo, athletics, and wrestling.
According to team official Sefanaia Takape, some of their athletes have had international competition experience and have previously competed in the Commonwealth Games and Tokyo Olympics.
Team Nauru will also be banking on Christon Amram who is said to be a medal prospect in boxing.
Nauru has been preparing in Australia and despite setbacks brought about by the pandemic, the team feels it is ready to improve on the medal haul from 2018.
“We had to cancel our trip to the 2022 Saipan Mini Games earlier this year, just one day before the competition, due to the COVID -19 outbreak, and this has hindered movement a lot, so we didn’t get much competition, but we continued training nonetheless,” Takape said.
Nauru has competed in seven Commonwealth Games since 1990 and has produced some renowned weightlifters.
The late Reanna Solomon, Marcus Stephen, and Yukio Peter have won gold in the Commonwealth, and five others Jalon Renos Doweiya, Ebonette Deigaeruk, Sheba Deireragea, Mary Diranga, Itte Detenamo, and Charisma Amoe-Tarrant have won medals at the event.
Weightlifting starts next week in Birmingham.