26 Jul 2016

Sport: Samoa unfazed by Rio issues

11:41 am on 26 July 2016

Team Samoa are being realistic about their chances at the Rio Olympics and say they want to be good ambassadors for the islands no matter what their results.

Chef de Mission Auali'itia Fa'afouina Milford said with the Manu Samoa sevens team surprisingly failing to qualify for the games, medal hopes are slim for the country but he said exposing the likes of teen swimmers Evelina Afoa and Brandon Schuster to the Olympics as wild card entrants was a great thing.

"That was the aim that we did have in the past, to have this contingent this year to come up with a big number but it is really unfortunate that our rugby sevens didn't make it," Auali'itia said.

"There is nothing we can do about it so we have to concentrate on our other sports. We have six qualified by merit and the other two who have been given the opportunity."

Auali'itia also said Samoa held no concerns over the Olympic village in Rio, despite a refusal by Australia to stay at the venue due to complaints over electrical, plumbing and hygiene issues.

Rio athletes village

Rio athletes village Photo: Twitter/Mahe Drysdale

Team Samoa are scheduled to depart for Rio on August 1.

Auali'itia said he had been in constant contact with their liaison in Rio and he had no worries about where they were staying.

"The village is okay. There are only minor things left to put in and our Oceania people, they are there as well to have our own Oceania village, the Oceania team are there," he said.

"Everything will be fine but according to the concerns between New Zealand and Australia, there are always pros and cons to everything but when it comes to the Games we always expect there will be something that comes up. But as far as Samoa is concerned, it will be fine. It won't be a problem for us."

The team also includes sprinter Jeremy Dodson, discus thrower Alexander Melei Rose, Kayaker Anne Crane, Derek Sua who will compete in Judo and weightlifters Mary Opeloge and Vaipava Nevo Ioane.