Brendan Telfer on Samoa's spectacular Pacific Games
Veteran sports broadcaster Brendan Telfer has been to many Pacific Games in the past, and he said the 2019 edition was a spectacular event only Samoa could have pulled off.
Telfer commentated on weightlifting, athletics, and the opening and closing ceremonies for host broadcaster MMG, and he said a lot has changed since the nation last hosted the Games in 2007.
“Basically it’s got a lot more sophisticated, more countries, more athletes, the biggest games ever.
“It’s been a wonderful honour for Samoa, and Samoa stepped up, and they’ve delivered spectacularly.
“Nobody else in the Pacific could have done this in the amount of time that they did.”
Telfer said the arrival of Australia and New Zealand as associate members of the Pacific Games Council means it’s a whole new game, but the Pacific nations have shown they’re up to the challenge.
He said every nation has contributed equally to the spectacle of the Games.
“There’s a correlation between investment, team size and medal performance; you put in, you get out.
“With the Aussies and Kiwis here pushing everybody, I reckon the standards are going to go up.”
Telfer said the prospect of a sports institute based around the facilities would be great for both Samoan athletes and those from around the region.
“With your athletes like [Samoan swimmer Brandon] Schuster, all of a sudden you have a breakthrough in a new sport, because you have facilities here.”
He said those sorts of performances inspire the next generation, who you need to be able to cater for.
“So in the next 10-15 years, how many more Schusters are going to come through.”
Telfer singled out the coaching excellence of Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, whose Samoa Weightlifting Team won 16 Pacific Games gold medals, is to be congratulated.
He said the team’s dedication to training is incredible, and they’ve been able to convert Pacific performance into world class standards.
“It just speaks to mindset, capacity, and the ability of the kids in the Pacific.”
Telfer said he has always anticipated the Pacific would produce a Usain Bolt-type figure.
“The capacity of the Pacific kids in terms of explosive sport is phenomenal.”
He pointed to Samoan sprinter Kelvin Tuiala Masoe, who won gold in the long jump, as a perfet example of the raw talent that is there to be harnessed.
“He’s hardly done any long jumping – boom, pulls off a 7.65
“Just imagine if he’d had a sports institute here, that he’d be trained, developed, we could be thinking of some phenomenal performances.”