Samoan athletes and the Rio Olympics

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Dear Editor,

Re: Olympics hopes dashed 

The entry standard for the Rio Olympics for women’s hammer throw was 71.00 metres. Clearly, the Samoan women’s champion was well short of the Olympic Qualifying distance (OQD). The NOC had permitted the Samoans to compete in the swimming events at Rio but the Samoans were well short of the OQT. In retrospect, it would be even more significant if the Samoan NOC did not permit them to compete even with the quota entry system, it would reveal a hubristic result.

Jeremy Dodson however with a personal of 20.03 (2011) had qualified for the Rio games and ran in 20.51, placing him 5th in his heat, which is impressive except 33 of his peers ran a few hundreths of a second faster, which included Usain Bolt.

I would personally recommend that the Samoan NOC do not allow Samoan athletes particularly swimmers and track and field athletes to compete in the Olympics through a quota selection system after all the Olympics is the highest elite level of competition.

Quota systems and goodwill competition participation in international athletics and sports in a quasi Olympic competition ought to remain with the Goodwill Games. The Goodwill games was meant to foster goodwill amongst nations which would accommodate Refugees and quota system athletes as well.

The Olympics is for the very best in sporting excellence. A quota system must and should remain for other international sporting events and in particular for the Goodwill games.

 

Timoteo Tufuga 

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