Samoa's discus dreams fall short

Samoa’s discus thrower Alexander Melei Rose has had to settle for No. 18 in his second appearance the Olympics.

Like all athletes, he was aiming for a medal but a throw that landed 1.21 metres short of the distance required to advance, put him out of contention for a medal.

Mr. Rose bowed out in the preliminary round on Friday with a throw of 61.72 meters, reports his alma mater Central Michigan University.

The field comprised 32 throwers with the top 12 moving on to Saturday's final. 

Mr. Rose needed a throw of at least 62.93 meters to reach the final.

It was a crushing end to Mr. Rose’s Olympic dream whose career best is far better than 61.72 meters. 

He set his career best, 67.48, during a meet at the University of Arizona in May, reports C.M.U.

Mr. Rose, from Grand Rapids, Michigan in the United States, was allowed to compete for Samoa because his father is a native of Samoa.

Attempts made the Samoa Observer over the weekend, to reach our flag bearer for comment were not successful.

“When I qualified for the Olympics in 2019 I was incredibly happy. At the time a 66 metre throw was a big PR and national record for me! I was so happy to have the chance to once again compete against the best in the world and aim for an Olympic final,” Mr. Rose said in an earlier interview.

“I love the solitary nature of athletics and the discus throw. It is an awful lot of work with training, and the tape measure will never lie to you. It's just you and the circle, no teammates or excuses. The better throw always wins.”

He said the hardest thing to do in order to qualify for the Olympics is hit the Olympic standard distance of 66 metres.

“Only fifteen or so athletes on the planet throw this distance every year, so hitting the standard outright, and qualifying by merit meant a lot to me. I have two goals for this Olympics. First I want to become the first Samoan athlete competing in an Olympic final in Track and Field. Second, I want to compete for a medal,” Mr. Rose said.

It was the second Olympic appearance for Mr. Rose, who placed 29th in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

In early July, Samoa’s weightlifting team (three lifters) was pulled from the Tokyo Olympics by then caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi.

S.A.S.N.O.C. President Patrick Fepulea'i said Samoa had 11 athletes who qualified to compete at the Olympic Games.

Of the 11, three are based in Samoa (the weightlifting team). Two are based in Australia (boxing team), four are based in New Zealand (sailing and canoeing team), one in based US (athletics) and one who was already in Japan (judo).

But he will leave Japan as he arrived – a proud flag bearer who represented Samoa when its native athletes in Samoa were kept from traveling to the games to compete.

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