Tuvalu News

Tuvalu Olympic Athletes Finish Competition Proudly

16 August, 2008

Asenate Manoa was the third and final Tuvaluan athlete to compete in the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

The 16 year-old, competing in the women's 100 metres race, finished 8th in Heat 2, with a time of 14.05. It was Asenate's first international competition. She spent the past year training in Fiji, where she used starting blocks for the first time, and her Beijing run was her first on a synthetic track. The best time in all the heats was Damola Osayomi of Nigeria at 11.13. The final will be held on August 17th.

Okilani Tinilau ran in the men's 100 metres race on August 15. The 20 year-old's time was 11.48 in the first round Heat 10. The eventual gold medal winner was Usain Bolt of Jamaica who ran in a record time of 9.69, breaking the previous record of 9.84, held by Canada's Donovan Bailey since 1996.

The first Tuvaluan athlete to appear at the Olympics was Logona Esau, the 21 year-old weightlifter from Nukufetau. He was also the only Tuvaluan to have won medals, let alone appear in international competitions.

Logona lifted in Group C in the men's 69kg, finishing 7th among the eight competitors. His scores for clean and Jerk and overall were 110, 144 and 254. The gold medal winner was Liao Hui of China, with a total score of 348.

The Tuvaluan's did not arrive at the Olympics with the expectation of winning medals. Their goal was to participate among the world's greatest athletes, learn the Olympic spirit, and show the world that the people of one of the world's smallest nations can show the dedication to compete at such a high level.

Asenate Manoa, Okilani Tinilau and Logona Esau served Tuvalu proud from the moment they walked into the stadium on August 8th.

Fakafetai lasi, Tuvalu!

Brian & Helena Cannon

Logona Esau
Logona Esau
Photo: Xinhuanet

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