Dika Loa Toua, three-time Commonwealth Games medallist won the best female athlete of the year prize at the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee (PNGOC) SP Sports Awards.
She was the first woman ever to lift weight at the Olympic Games, competing in the 48kg bodyweight category at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. She ended up sixth in the women’s 53kg in Athens 2004, lifting a total of 177.5kg where she was her country’s flag-bearer at the Opening Ceremony. In 2014, she claimed the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 53kg bodyweight category and ranked second in the same bodyweight category at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in April.
Toua beat triathlete Rachael Sapery James and tennis player Abigail Tere-Apisah to land the best female athlete award.
“I am very grateful and thankful to the good Lord for his continuous blessings of strength he has given me to represent Papua New Guinean” she said.
“Thank you also to the PNG Weightlifting Federation, the PNGOC and corporate sponsors for all your support.”
The male award went to Ase Boas rugby player.