One more athlete speaks up

By Ulimasao Fata ,

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SPEAKING OUT: Jonathan Paea and his son Tapasu Paea in Samoa.

SPEAKING OUT: Jonathan Paea and his son Tapasu Paea in Samoa. (Photo: Ulimasao Fata)

The family of one more athlete has spoken out about their experience with the administration of sports in Samoa.

Jonathan Paea, the father of U-18 Sprinter, Tapasu Jonathan Paea, has told the Weekend Observer about his disappointment in the way his son has been treated.

Tapasu was one of Samoa’s gold medalists from the recent Oceania Athletics tournament in Fiji. He also finished in the top 10 during the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas.

Speaking to the Weekend Observer, Mr. Paea is sad saying his son’s achievements have been ignored by the local administrators.

“When the team came back from the Oceania Athletics tournament in Fiji, I never heard of the Samoa Athletics acknowledging the achievements of my son,” he said.

“My son claimed gold medal for the U-18 finals running at 11.1 seconds.”

Tapasu and his father were in Apia last week for the Samoa Athletics Open timing trials for the Upcoming Mini Games in Vanuatu in December.

 “My son was discouraged after we heard that Kelvin Masoe ran the 100m race for 10.46 seconds, given my son’s gold medal from Oceania Athletics that he ran for 11.1 seconds”

“We are related with Kelvin Masoe and we have nothing against the poor kid.”

He said because of the use of hand watch timers instead of digital timers, athletes had been misled with their time. 

Mr. Paea also told Samoa Observer that it was Samoa Athletics Association’s fault that almost led his son to represent Tonga for the Oceania Athletics held in May.

“We were preparing for the New Zealand Nationals around March earlier this year when team Samoa contacted us that Tapasu was in their squad, and then told me that we have to meet in Auckland after the Nationals to consult about Tapasu’s selection but that did not happen at all.

“My son came second in the New Zealand Nationals U-18 competition and the Team Samoa has not yet contacted us anymore but the Tonga team stepped up and took my son and he competed for the Tongan Nationals in April.

“He competed for the Tongan Nationals and broke three records there when the team Samoa finally contacted him that he was in their final squad for the Oceania.”

During the Athletics trials last week at Apia Park, Tapasu topped the 100m final running at 10.40 seconds while Kelvin Masoe came in second of 10.80 seconds.

Tapasu believes that there was no accuracy in that timing result.

“There is no accuracy for that result,” he said.

“If that was my time (10.40) seconds, then I’m telling you that I’m faster than Jeremy Dodson the Samoan Open Sprinter.”

The Samoa Observer been try to get a comment from the President of Samoa Athletics Association but it was unsuccessful.

Tapasau’s dad said the main motive of him and his son travelling to Samoa for this trial was to let Samoa know there was much-needed work to be done for the Athletics Association.

“We did not come to trial for the Vanuatu Mini Games. That’s nothing to us; we wanted Samoa to make sure that any hard work is acknowledged properly.

“Our Sports facilities in Samoa are great but we also need to upgrade how officials run the sport in Samoa.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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