Proud to be American Samoan
By Matt Bowcott of The Reporters' Academy
Athletics is a popular sport within the Olympic Games, the 100m being one of the biggest events. Elama Fa'atonu of American Samoa was hoping to progress from the Preliminary rounds to round 1 of the 100m sprint. Thinking about the moment he took to the blocks, Elama said, “the crowd was great, as I looked out I saw the finish and knew I had to reach it, as long as I tried my best.”
Elama spoke about his excitement settling into the blocks “it was great, I was looking forward to it, focusing on what my coach told me, ‘try your best and focus on the finish’.” Elama had a quick reaction time of 0.170 seconds, he felt his foot slip as he left the blocks, however “once I got into my stride I felt comfortable and thought my end of the race was good.”
Elama finished quickly with a time of 11.48 seconds, a new personal best for the American Samoan. A 7th place finish in his heat and an overall finish of 24th place, Elama was pleased with his result “a new personal best is great for me and I think I could have gone even faster, I’m happy with the result.”
For Elama, competing at the Olympics was a good test and a great way to show how proud he is of his roots. After the Games Elama plans to join the Army, further demonstrating his pride for American Samoa. He will put the determination and dedication he learnt while competing and training for the Olympics into action within his new career.