Glasgow 2014: David Katoatau claims first ever Kiribati medal

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David Katoatau wins Kiribati's first ever gold

The tiny Pacific island of Kiribati is celebrating a first Commonwealth Games medal after David Katoatau won gold in weightlifting's 105kg Group A.

Katoatau, 30, lifted 148kg in the snatch and 200kg in the clean and jerk.

New Zealand's Stanislav Chalaev clinched silver, while England's Ben Watson claiming an unexpected bronze.

"I came here hoping to finish in the top five so to get bronze is the best day of my life," said 24-year-old Watson, who is from Oxford.

Katoatau smiled as the national anthem of Kiribati was played at the Clyde Auditorium before the enthusiastic crowd burst into a round of applause.

Kiribati - which won independence from the United Kingdom in 1979 - is a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean with a population of just over 100,000.

Some facts and figures about Kiribati
Where: A group of coral islands in the Central Pacific OceanPopulation: 103,500Languages: English, Gilbertese
Size: 313 sq milesCapital: South TarawaMain exports: Seaweed, shark fins and coconuts
Read more about Kiribati on the BBC News website.

"I am so proud to have earned Kiribati a first medal at a major event," said Katoatau, who finished 17th out of 21 in the same category at the 2012 Olympics.

Watson, who is from the St Birinus Club in Didcot, led after the snatch after successfully lifting 157kg.

But despite being cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd, he could not compete with Katoatau or Chalaev in the clean and jerk - where the weight is lifted in two movements.

"I can't be disappointed because I didn't really expect a medal," added Watson.

Maryam Usman claimed gold for Nigeria in the other weighlifting event of the day, the women's +75kg weightlifting category.

The 23-year-old's overall score of 280kg beat reigning champion Ele Opeloge of Samoa into second place, with New Zealand's Tracey Lambrechs taking the bronze.

David Katoatau carrying the Kiribati flag
David Katoatau carried the flag for Kiribati at the opening ceremony
England's Ben Watson
Ben Watson won the English title in February with a two-lift total of 335kg
David Katoatau
Katoatau won Kiribati its first ever gold medal at its fifth Commonwealth Games
L-R Ele Opeloge of Samoa, Maryam Usman of Nigeria and New Zealand's Tracey Lambrechs
Maryam Usman (centre) won bronze at +75kg in the 2011 World Championships in Paris

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