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Bittersweet victory for Samoa's first Olympic medalist

Ele Opeloge of Samoa competes in the women's +75 kg weightlifting event during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 16, 2008.  [Photo: AFP PHOTO/JUNG YEON-JE via RNZI]

Samoa's first ever Olympic medal has come as a bittersweet victory according to the president of the country's weightlifting federation.

Weightlifter Ele Opeloge originally placed fourth in the, 75kgs and above, women's super heavyweight division, in Beijing.

But a review of test samples in August found silver medalist, Olha Korobka from Ukraine, and bronze medalist, Mariya Grabovetskaya from Kazakhstan both tested positive for banned substances.

Tuaopepe Vui Asiata Jerry Wallwork, who also coached weightlifter Ele Opeloge at the Beijing Games in 2008, said while the silver medal was welcome he felt she has had her glory stolen from her.

"It is our first ever Olympic Medal and the first ever medal from a female from the Pacific at the Olympic Games. So for us in Samoa it is a great achievement and for Ele Opeloge she deserves a celebration and I want for the country along with our National Olympic Committee will have something to honor and present her medal in the proper way," Tuaopepe Vui Asiata Jerry Wallwork said.