Athletes Make Olympic History for Tuvalu
July 17, 2008
Asenate Manoa will make history when the tiny Pacific Island of Tuvalu marches out for the first time at an Olympic Games, next month.
The runner will become Tuvalu's first female Olympian.
Tuvalu was welcomed into the Olympic Family at the 2007 International Olympic Committee Session in Guatemala City.
Manoa's male teammate, Okilai Tinilau is also competing in track and field, while weightlifter, Logona Esau is in the men's 69 kilo class. They will become the nation's first male Olympians.
Esau himself made history at the 2005 South Pacific games in Palau, snaring Tuvalu's first medal in international competition when he won bronze. He followed that with a silver medal in the 2007 South Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa.
Manoa has been training in Fiji since Friday, where she's being mentored by a member of Fiji's track team, and working at the offices of the regional Olympic administrator, ONOC.
She's been staying at a hotel in Suva, running to the track for a warm-up, doing block starts for the first time, and can be found asleep at her desk during the day, according to the ONOC's secretary general Dr Robin Mitchell.
"She's never experienced this type of training before and she is just exhausted but she will go well in Beijing," Dr Mitchell said.
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