Oceania's latest Olympians take to the track.
By Lewis Woods of The Reporters’ Academy
The eyes of the Pacific Islands were drawn to the Olympic Stadium as 9 Oceania athletes took to the track for the men’s 100m preliminary rounds. Athletes from Tonga, Palau, Tuvalu, The Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, American Samoa, The Solomon Islands, Kiribati and The Cook Islands all took part in the 4 heats.
All the Oceania athletes took to the track, here are the times and rankings for the preliminary rounds:
- · 17th. John Howard (FSM) – 11.05 sec
- · 18th. Rodman Teltull (Palau) – 11.06 sec (P.B)
- · 19th. Joseph Lui (Tonga) – 11.17 sec
- · 23rd. Christopher Walasi (Soloman Is.) – 11.42 sec
- · 24th. Elema Fa’antonu (Am. Samoa) – 11.48 (P.B)
- · 25th. Nooa Takooa (Kiribati) – 11.53 sec (P.B)
- · 26th. Tavevele Noa (Tuvalu) – 11.55 sec
- · 28th. Patrick Tuara (Cook Is.) – 11.72 sec
- · 29th. Timi Garstang (Marshall Is.) – 12.81 sec
Unfortunately none of the athletes qualified for the next round of the competition and there were mixed emotions from the athletes, some weren’t pleased with their times others were happy. Tavevele of Tuvalu, “My race was not good, my aim was to get 10 seconds. The start of my race was good but then when I reached 60 meters, I let it down.”
Although the results were not what some of the athletes would have hoped for, Timi Garstang of the Marshall Islands spoke about the facilities in the UK that have helped better the athletes performances, “The track was unreal, if we had the facilities back at home we would probably get better, since we have no track on my island, we train on grass, but we just try our best.”
So on the second day of the Athletics at the Olympic Stadium, Oceania’s newest Olympian’s bought spirit and determination, and left with three athletes setting new personal bests. Today was a learning curve for the athletes, hopefully the experience of competing at the London 2012 games will inspire Oceania athletes to get the best out of their performances in the future.