Samoa Taekwondo eyes Pacific Games medals
Samoa’s national taekwondo team is fielding six athletes this Pacific Games, and they have a chance to win a medal.
So says the Taekwondo Federation Samoa President, Muagututagata Peter AhHim, on the side’s preparations for the opening match next Tuesday.
Muagututagata said the weigh in is on Monday, with Kaino Thomsen competing in the heavy weight senior division, Asomualemalama Saili - 74 kilo, Raki Franklin Paul – 63 kilo, Taumaia Mavaeao Muliagatele – 62 kilo, Cecelia Theresa Magele – 53 kilo, and Saumai - 62 kilo division.
“I am hoping all of them will get medals,” he said to the Samoa Observer.
“Kaino is our London Olympic athlete and was a gold medalist in previous Pacific Games, so we are hoping he will secure a medal for Samoa.”
Muagututagata said while the competition is tough, with teams like Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, and Australia and New Zealand joining for the first, he has faith in his small squad.
“There’s always a chance, everybody has the chance to win on the day. So there’s always hope.
“Preparations is pretty good, the team has just come back from Australia, they went to the Australian Open in the Gold Coast, the President Cup
“There’s not much competition in Samoa not like rugby and Samoa so we need to go overseas and that needs a lot of money, so we’ve utilised the resources we have in the country.”
He added they have a young side, which includes two young female athletes, and Kaino is the oldest competitor in the national side.
Muagututagata said their main aim is to also qualify their players for the Olympic Games in 2020 in Japan during the Oceania Open, which will be held after the Pacific Games taekwondo tournament.
“I am hoping a member of the team is good enough to compete in the Oceania selection to qualify for the Olympic Games.
“We qualified two players in 2012 in London and we did very well. Not many sports are Olympic sports here in Samoa.”
Muagututagata is calling on the support and prayers of the nation for the team’s competition.