Alex Rose looking to make Olympic history in 2020
Samoan discus thrower Alex Rose is gutted to have missed the 2019 Pacific Games but wants to make history for his country at the Olympics.
The 27-year-old won gold in discus at the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea, along with silver medals in the shot put and hammer throw.
But Rose said he would have needed too much time off work to make it to Samoa last month for the 2019 Games.
“I was very sad to not be there," he said.
“I knew that I would need those days off work to compete in the World Championships this year in Doha, Qatar."
That tournament at the end of September will be a major stepping stone on Rose's road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which he has already qualified for after a 66.31 metre throw earlier this year.
“It’s very relieving, knowing that I don’t have to worry about hitting the standard," he said.
“Only training as hard as I can so I can be in the best position during the Olympic Games."
Rose represented Samoa in 2016 at the Rio de Janeiro Games as well.
“It was a fantastic experience the first time around," he said.
“I feel more prepared now that I have that under my belt, so I know how to deal with that pressure a little bit better than last time."
He wants to become the first Samoan athlete to qualify for an Olympic track and field final.
Making the discus final at Tokyo 2020 in July would require a top 12 placing through the qualifying rounds.
Rose's current distance has him ranked 12th in the world at the moment.
“I’m right there," he said.
Rose said having dreamed of making history for Samoa for so long, he's not sure how it would feel to actually pull it off.
“I’d probably just start crying," he said.
“I would be so overjoyed to finally make history for Samoa, and make everyone proud."
The 27-year-old said it's hard to say when his best chance to shine at the Olympics will be, but it's definitely either the 2020 or 2024 Games.
"Some throwers develop a little bit earlier than others but generally late 20s and early 30s is when a discus thrower is in their prime," he said.
“I’m optimistic that I’m yet to get to my best years."