A Commonwealth Games weightlifting champion and Olympian has become the first Covid-related death in the tiny Pacific island republic of Nauru, the world’s second smallest nation. “Reanna Solomon, only 40 years of age, lost her life as a result of the Covid-19 virus,” the Oceania Weightlifting Federation said in a statement Thursday.
President Lionel Aingimea had previously announced the death without disclosing the name, saying the first person to die with Covid in Nauru had passed away on July 1.
Solomon won two gold medals in the super-heavyweight division at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and placed 10th at the Athens Olympics two years later.
“Apart from being a great athlete, Reanna was a devoted mother and wife and has sadly left behind her husband Tavita and their five children,” Paul Coffa, the general secretary of the Commonwealth Weightlifting Federation, said.
“Reanna was a superb athlete, naturally strong, who started competing in weightlifting in the 1990s.”
Nauru, with a population of fewer than 11,000, has more than 4,100 active Covid cases.
To curb the spread of the disease, the government has introduced on-the-spot fines of up to $6,800 for people walking around for non-essential reasons, not wearing a mask, and for gatherings of more than three people.