Team Samoa takes shape
The President of the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympics Committee (S.A.S.N.O.C.), Fepulea’i Patrick Fepulea’i, is optimistic about the Samoan athletes preparing for the Rio Olympics.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Fepulea’i said he is particularly excited by the fact most of the athletes have qualified on their own merits which means they will not be travelling there for the sake of making up the numbers.
“We certainly hope that Samoa will get good results from the Olympics,” he said. “And hopefully the government will be able to assist the athletes with their trip to Rio.”
Team Samoa for Brazil is already a formidable one.
“There’s the Athletics and we have our Sprinter from the U.S.A. who will represent Samoa, Jeremy Dodson.
“There is also Alex Rose who is competing in the field events.”
Judo Athlete, Derek Su’a, has also qualified.
“The outrigger canoeing, we have a female who is based in New Zealand. Her name is Annie Cairns and she is training where she is based.”
Swimmer Brandon Schuster is another likely candidate.
“We also have Brandon Schuster but the qualifications for Swimming is being held in Fiji this month so hopefully he makes it,” he said.
“However, even if he does not make it he still gets another chance to still make it to Rio because there is a possibility through a wild card invitation. So he is the lucky one.
“And then we have the Weightlifting where Nevo Ioane and Mary Opeloge have qualified.
“And of course we have one more sport that we are waiting for which is the Sevens for both women and men. They are having their qualifications this month in Monaco and Dublin.” Fepulea’i said Team Samoa athletes qualified based on their merits.
“This is good because most of our athletes are qualified as of rights which are their merits so hopefully Samoa will be able to get a good chance in winning medals from these sports.”
Asked about boxing, Fepulea’i said there is no team for boxing because the sport is going through a rebuilding phase.
“This is one of the sports that Samoa was doing really well at once upon a time but lately the standards have dropped somewhat,” he said.
“So therefore we cannot take a team because the Olympics is one of the highest competitions there is and we cannot just take anyone.
“The Commonwealth and the Olympics are two different competitions because with the Olympics, there will be more than 200 countries competing so the standards are quite high.” Fepulea’i said all athletes are training extremely hard.