Samoa’s Olympic team warned to stay within secure boundaries


Four of the Samoa based 8 athletes weightlifters Vaipava Nevo Ioane and Mary Opeloge, Derek Sua (judo) and Brandon Schuster (swimming)

BY Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA: THURSDAY 28 JULY 2016: Team Samoa to the Rio Olympics has been warned to stay within the confines of secure premises at Rio de Janeiro.

The warning comes from Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi when he met the team yesterday ahead of the first team members departing via Auckland today.

He warned Team Samoa to stay away from places they should not be, and to remain within secure areas.

Team Samoa Chef de Mission Auali’itia Fa’afouina Milford is amongst the first to leave today to ensure accommodation and documentation for the athletes are in order before the team arrives and move into the Games village.

Samoa will be amongst 203 countries vying for medals next and according to Auali’itia, Samoa’s athletes are very young and he believes that they can go further given the opportunity.

Only 8 athletes will compete in 5 sports that include weightlifting, judo, canoeing, athletics and swimming.

Four of the athletes are locally based and the other 4 reside overseas.

Derek Sua who represents the judo knows that it won’t be an easy but is confident that the training and their international exposure, has helped tremendously with their preparations.

Derek started playing judo in 2010 and has competed in the international arenas.

He won bronze for Samoa the New Caledonia Oceania Championship 2015 where he qualified for the Rio Olympics.

The 28 year old said his fitness is not a problem and his focus is his mental preparation.

Brandon Schuster will compete in the 200m freestyle is excited and still coming to terms with the reality that he going to compete in Rio.

“This is my first Olympics and I am going to give it my best for Samoa and for my sport,” said Brandon.

Mary Opeloge, a Commonwealth gold medalist is no stranger to the pressures of international competition.

“I am so happy to make it this far and I will compete to the best of my ability,” said Mary.

She is also aware that the Commonwealth cannot be compared to the Olympics.

“The Commonwealth and Olympics have different standards, and that is why most of the countries in the Commonwealth arena strive to get the highest total possible to qualify for the Olympics,” said Mary.

Samoa has yet to win a medal in the Olympics.

Team Samoa.

Jeremy Raponi Dodson – 200m Sprint (men)
Alexander  Melei Rose –  Discuss Throw
Officials – Tuala Tommy Stancil , Ah Chong  Sam Chong

Aquatics- Swimming
Evelina Afoa – 100m  Backstroke (women)
Randon Schuster – 200m  Freestyle  (men)
Official – Suzie Schuster.

 Canoe- Kayak
Anne Cairns – Women K1 200m & 500m
Official Richard Forbes

Derek Sua –  100+kg (men)
Official – Eguchi Fubuki

Mary Opeloge – 75kg (women)
Vaipava Nevo Ioane – 62kg (men)
Officials – Tuaopepe Jerry Walkwork and Fa’avae  Fa’auliuli.

Chef de Mission – Auali’itia Fa’afouina Milford
General Team Manger & Administration – Tagifano Dengue So’onalole
Team Doctor –  Dr. Aird Hill Pai Enosa
Team Masseuse – Kosetatino Manase

Government Official – Loau Solamalemalo Keneti Sio, Minister of Education Sports & Culture.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi with the athletes and Team Samoa Chief de Mission-Aualiitia Faafouina Milford

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi with the athletes and Team Samoa Chief de Mission, Aualiitia Faafouina Milford on the right