Maamaloa Lolohea from Tonga passed away 21st May, in his home of Vava’u (northern island) Tonga at the age of 52 years.
He was known as the gentle giant. Maamaloa lifted for over 10 years representing Tonga and he was very proud of wearing his Tongan national lifting suit.
Maamaloa trained at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute from 2003 until he retired from lifting in 2009 after the Mini Games in the Cook Islands.
He competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, was the gold medallist at the South Pacific Games in Suva in 2003, was also a gold medallist at the South Pacific Championships in Tonga in 2003 and won a silver medal at the Oceania Senior and Commonwealth Senior Championships the same year.
He was the national coach of Tonga for many years. His contribution to the OTIP program, in the initial stages, was outstanding.
The IWF sends its deepest condolences to the Tonga and Oceania Weightlifting Federations and to his family.