Samoan Olympians fighting good fight: Fiame

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa has sent her well wishes to Samoan athletes currently competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, saying they are fighting the good fight representing the country.

Speaking during her first media conference on Saturday, Fiame said no matter what happened in the country people shouldn’t forget to cheer and pray for Samoan athletes, who are fighting the good fight and representing the country on the sporting global stage.

"We cannot remove that spirit from us all, to send words of encouragement to our Olympians,” she said.

“We all know it is very hard for those who are competing in these events, and I want to wish them well on this important event of their lives, especially when they are representing our country.”

When the Prime Minister was asked about the previous government’s decision to stop local athletes from travelling to Japan, she said their safety is paramount and with their travel routes not confirmed, it became a key factor behind the decision not to send them to the Olympic Games.

"However, their safety is important, especially with the difficulty of their traveling to and back home hence why one of our team cannot go,” she said.

“But I believe that the athletes who are in Tokyo for the Olympics are our athletes based abroad and their route to Tokyo is easy. 

“The good thing is that there is an opportunity to put Samoa's name in one of the world's competitions.

"We pray and hope that God will protect them throughout the event and upon  their return to wherever they are staying."

Meanwhile, competition has already got underway for Samoa’s eight athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics.

Boxer Marion Faustino Ah Tong was eliminated on Sunday by Zambian boxer Stephen Zimba in the men’s welterweight division. 

His exit leaves just seven athletes remaining for the following sport: canoe sprint (Anne Cairns, Tuva'a Clifton and Rudolf Williams), boxing (Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali), sailing (Eroni Leilua), judo (Peniamina Percival) and athletics (Alex Rose). 

For the second Samoan boxer Ato, he will take on Uladzislau Smiahlikau of Belarus at 12:36 (Japan time) on Tuesday in the men’s heavyweight division.

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