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Rotuman Sports

From Fiji Times (10 September2023)

From the pool to powerlifting

By Jonathan Kumar

Wilson Erasito

In a surprise turn of events, former competitive swimmer Wilson Erasito, a second year civil engineering student at the University of the South Pacific (USP) and a native of Rotuma has made waves once again – this time in the world of powerlifting.

The 20-year-old athlete, who once dominated the swimming pool, has now captured the hearts of sport enthusiasts with his astonishing transition from swimming to powerlifting.

Mr Erasito was a rising star in the swimming community during his high school years (2015-2021), a sport he was first introduced to by his parents.

He clinched multiple long distance medals and sprinting accolades in various national competitions, earning a reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the Grand Pre 1 local competition.

"At first I thought I was a long distance swimmer but up until form 5 and 6 I started becoming a sprinter," he said.

"The long distance events would be 1500m and 800m which would be the equivalent of 50 laps in a 25m pool."

However, life had a different path in store for him. And so he took powerlifting – a strength sport that focused on three main lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift.

Inspired by a fellow gym-goer, Mr Erasito decided to give it a shot in 2022.

Little did he know this decision would change the trajectory of his athletic journey.

"I would confuse powerlifting with weightlifting at first, it wasn't until I joined that I learned that powerlifting was much different."

Under the guidance of seasoned powerlifting trainers, Mr Erasito began his rigorous training regimen.

His swimming background provided him with a solid foundation of discipline and mental toughness, which he seamlessly transferred to his new pursuit.

His natural athleticism and work ethic quickly caught the attention of fellow powerlifters and coaches, who were impressed by his rapid progress.

"Sometimes the pain from training would hit much later, when I leave the gym."

In a stunning display of determination, Mr Erasito participated in his first powerlifting competition merely a year after transitioning from swimming.

To everyone's astonishment, he not only held his own but also came in 4th against renowned professionals from across the nation.

His total lift surpassed expectation, and he demonstrated the same competitive spirit that once propelled him in the swimming pool.

Speaking to this newspaper, Mr Erasito expressed his passion for the sport throughout his transition.

"I've always liked the sound of heavy metal whacking against the floor or when they clink against the bar, metal against metal," he said.

"Others feel the same way and so there has been great support from the guys at the gym that I train at."

He advises anyone trying to balance different things to be where they know they are supposed to be.

"If you know you're supposed to be at the gym training, go there and if you know that you are supposed to be in the library studying, go!"

Mr Erasito practices photography as a way to distress. He also enjoys the occasional drink.

Wilson Erasito continues to make strides in the world of powerlifting, all the while carrying the lessons he learned from his swimming days in the pool.