Samoa Aim High at SPG 2007

Samoa's wrestling team has set a high medal target for themselves at the South Pacific Games.

Coach of the Samoa Wrestling team, Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork, says a lot of hard work has been achieved in getting a team together for the Games and results to date have been positive.

"We took a team to the Oceania Championships in Hamilton New Zealand in March. We selected a small team of five wrestlers, mainly because we were short of funding, but we were very successful. We came out with 2 gold medals, 1 silver and 2 bronze. So over all it was a pleasing result."

Tuaopepe says the Oceania Championships were an excellent opportunity for the team to measure their preparations for the South Pacific Games.

"We have found out there are areas we are weak in, and areas we need to work on, in the time we have left".

Yet Tuaopepe believes the team can improve on their results in Hamilton as well as other past results.

"Our aim is to break our record set in 1999, which was 7 gold medals. Its tough but it can be achieved. We have a lot of experienced wrestlers from 1999, and given they are getting back into form now, I think we can achieve what we are looking for. With Samoa backing us we are really looking forward to the games".

Two categories of wrestling will be contested at the South Pacific Games - Greco Roman and Freestyle. In Greco-Roman cmpetitors may only work above the waist. The use of legs and grappling below the waste is prohibited. This is the classic form of wrestling that bears some resemblence to Sumo and traditional Polynesian wrestling.


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