22 Jul 2016

Sport: Brand-new Olympic team for American Samoa

1:22 pm on 22 July 2016

American Samoa will send a team of four Olympic debutantes to Rio.

Two sprinters at college in the United States have been awarded universality places and will contest the men's and women's 100m.

Judoka Ben Waterhouse was also a late inclusion but the territory's Chef de Mission in Rio, Genhall Manua Chen, believed their best bet is Tanumafili Jungblut, who is based at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Noumea and will compete in the men's 94kg division.

"He's really put in the effort, really put in the time just training hard and just competing. He was there competing I think in Fiji at the ONOC World Championships - he almost placed but I think (at the 2015 Pacific Games) in Papua New Guinea he did place a bronze against competition from the Oceania teams. (If) he makes it to any round or even has a chance I think he's the one we should highlight and see because he's put in a lot of effort and commitment into his training."

Genhall Manua Chen said American Samoa is not so concerned about the risks posed by the Zika virus but is conscious about ensuring their delegation is safe from any others dangers.

"We're not as much concerned because we also have Zika in American Samoa - it's not an outbreak but we are well-versed in Zika prevention and what to get ready for. We have some cases down there but it's not been a big outbreak or anything, it's been controlled," he said.

"We've been getting notices from the Olympic Committee from Brazil so they've been good in giving us information and our organising agent has been giving us all this information so not so much of a big effect on us. I think it's mostly hearing the news about what's going on - maybe the violence or the strike, those king of things. I think it's more of a security concern issue so that's I think maybe what I have to bring to the table for the athletes and the delegation coming up."

American Samoa sent five athletes to the previous Olympics in London.