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Hard work pays off for 19-year-old boxer

Hard work, dedication and putting God in front are keys to success in life. Ask first time gold medallist, Marion Faustino Ah Tong and he will tell you just that.

The 19-year-old is the baby of Luamanuvae Mateo and Salafai Ah Tong’s eleven children from the village of Luatuanu’u.

He claimed Samoa’s second gold medal in boxing last Friday in Savai’i, and is the Pacific champion of the welterweight 69kg category.

Ah Tong defeated the strong and skilful Warren Tooro Warupi from Papua New Guinea and won by unanimous decision.

Asked about how he felt, the shy guy of not many words was “happy.”

“All I can say is that I am happy,” he told Samoa Observer.

“But I know deep down in my heart that it was God who made it possible. He answered our prayers and I give him back the glory.”

He uttered that like anything in life, the road to where he is now was no walk in the park.

“We’ve worked so hard and trained so hard in preparation for the Pacific Games,” he said.

“All the pain I went through and the struggles during trainings have paid off.

“This is my first time winning gold. I won silver and other prizes in previous tournaments I’ve participated in.

“But this is by far my greatest accomplishment and I am very honoured and just happy that I achieved my goal.

“This isn’t something I celebrate alone. There are a lot of people who were behind me pushing me and motivated me to get the right results and I know they are just as happy I am.”

Honesty, according to the young Ah Tong boxer, is key to anything in life.

“I am a true believer that honesty is the best policy. If you’re honest with yourself and you keep on training hard, you will achieve your goal no matter how hard the task is.”

Being born and raised in a big family with Christian upbringings, Ah Tong remains firm that it was God who made it possible for him.

“God was at the forefront of my journey and I know without Him, I am nothing.

“I still can’t believe that I won gold, but if I look back to how hard we worked to get the results we got, I believe that we deserve it all.

“I went in the ring during the finals knowing that if I follow the routines we learned and if I give it my all, I would win my first gold medal, and I did.

“All I had to do was give it my best shot.

“The bible is clear on this, you reap what you sow. I’ve learned through boxing that hard work and dedication gets you the right results.

“The people I love motivates me and I rely on no one but God every time I step in the ring.”

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