So'onalole brothers win Games medal
Brothers Leon and Marvin So’onalole have won a bronze medal for Samoa’s in the men’s doubles at the XVI Pacific Games tennis tournament.
In the women's doubles, Steffi Carruthers and Eleanor Schuster, lost against American Samoa during the bronze medals play-offs.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, the So’onalole brothers said that they both felt special after winning a medal together for the first time.
Leon said that their bronze medal play off match against New Caledonia was tough.
“It is because that was our last chance to win a medal on home soil for our country and families and friends who showed so much support for us.
“The young Samoan tennis players watched us fight for every point and I hope it was a learning experience for them as well - we literally cried at the end of the match because it was very emotional,” he said.
The 31-year-old from Alamagoto said that their original plan was to win gold.
“I am happy and contented about our victory - it feels very special to win a medal with my brother because it has not been an easy journey to be honest so many do not know about our struggles.
“One of the challenges we faced was the weather – whenever it rained we had to delay the games we can’t play on court because it’s slippery and that had a bad impact with us having to wait all the time for our games.
“But that was not the end of it, due to heavy rainfall our match schedules became tight we had no choice but to play back-to-back and that was such a struggle,” he added.
Marvin said that what kept him going throughout the long two weeks of playing tennis was his faith in God helping them pull through everything.
“We suffered a bad loss in the semi-finals against Tonga and my mind would not be at peace but thanks to prayers it helped and was able to play today.
“We acknowledge everyone from our coaches to families and friends and our local supporters because they also helped us so much.”
Samoa’s women’s team include: Steffi Carruthers, Eleanor Schuster, Penina Kamu, Sauleone Saipele whereas the men’s team: Kristen Pavit, Leon Soonalole, Marvin Soonalole, and Phillip Warren with coach for both men and women’s, June Langton.