BY TIMOTHY INIFIRI JNR, PACIFIC GAMES NEWS SERVICE
THERE was never any doubt who would get the loudest cheer from the Honiara crowd at the Sol2023 Pacific Games Opening Ceremony, as 40-year-old local weightlifting icon Jenly Tegu Wini had the honour of leading the 650-strong team from Solomon Islands in Sunday night’s athletes’ parade.
An ambassador for her country who has now carried the flag at six different Pacific Games, Wini expressed how proud she was to be able to do so again on home soil, in front of a sold-out National Stadium.
“As the flag bearer for Solomon Islands, I am representing all the citizens of this nation and I am super proud and happy about it”, she said.
Being involved with Solomon Islands weightlifting for the past 15 years, the 2017 Commonwealth Championship gold medalist told the Pacific Games News Service that the 2023 Pacific Games in her hometown will likely be her last.
“Getting up to 16 years in weightlifting and now at the age of 40, I always told myself that age doesn’t matter and I can continue on, but this will be my last Pacific Games,” she revealed. “But I will continue weightlifting for maybe another three years.”
Wini also urged the home supporters to get behind their local athletes during the two weeks of the Games to help boost their morale and performances.
Wini and her teammates will be in action at Maranatha Hall when weightlifting begins on Monday 20 November from 10am.