Eileen Cikamatana has become the first female in Commonwealth Games history to break the Games record for two different countries.
She broke the Games record in the 87kg division, in the snatch of 110kg, and for the clean-and-jerk lift of 137kg at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, on Wednesday morning.
Cikamatana also won gold for Fiji in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games but was later suspended by Weightlifting Fiji for disagreeing with the appointment of national coach, Iranian Hossein Tavakoli.
She lost her International Olympics Committee Scholarship too during that stand-off and was labeled by Fiji’s local media outlets as the “biggest loser in that standoff”.
Her suspension letter reads, “Weightlifting Fiji is suspending you from all Weightlifting Fiji’s activities effective June 10, 2018, without consultation with Weightlifting Fiji, you voluntarily withdrew yourself from competing at upcoming major international competitions, the Oceania Championships, the Junior World Championship, and the World Championship”.
Social media has lit up with the controversy once again.
A fan wrote, “That’s where the problem lies, they failed to acknowledge they were wrong in the first place, but more importantly athletes like Eileen are we call X-factors of their generation, they only come every once in a while.”
Cikamatana found a new home in Australia when she was granted a distinguished talent visa by the Government of Australia and four years down the line she has not only won two gold medals but also records in her division for her adopted country.
She is now on track to fulfill her dream of getting Olympic gold in 2024.