Tokyo 2020 Day Three: Pacific Athletes - Who to watch and when | Loop Vanuatu
 

Tokyo 2020 Day Three: Pacific Athletes - Who to watch and when

Day three of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics looks to be a big one for Pacific athletes as former World Rugby Sevens champions Fiji kicked off today's games in their first pool match against host team, Japan.

Rugby Sevens (Men's)

Fiji v Canada- 8:00pm

Sailing

Men's Radial Laser event, 3:05pm (PNG and Samoa)

Teariki Numa of Papua New Guinea and Eroni Leilua of Samoa join sailors from around the world taking to the waters for the third and fourth races of the Sailing - Men's Radial Laser event.

It's been 28 years since PNG have been seen sailing at the Olympics - a record held by Te Ariki Numa's father, Graham Numa, who represented the nation in windsurfing at Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992.

Te Ariki Numa said the Olympic dream was a family affair but it was one that he owed to his dad.

"My dad set this goal so high for me and he set the bar so high and now I've hit that bar I'm just so happy to get over that bar now and I think it's just the greatest feeling ever, especially making it to the Olympics and adding to my dad’s record of going to the Olympics twice," Numa told RNZ Pacific in 2020.

Eroni Leilua is the first Samoan sailor to qualify for the Olympics but hopes he will not be the last.

Leilua spoke with RNZ Pacific last year about financial barriers preventing more Pacific sailors from pursuing the sport.

He hopes to encourage other Pacific sailors and athletes to chase their dreams regardless of their financial situation.

"I want to make sure that the up and coming sailors in Samoa and around the Pacific understand that there are opportunities to pursue the sport further."

The event is scheduled to start 3:05pm.

Women's Radial Laser Event:

Fellow Papua sailor and also sister of Teariki, Rose-Lee Numa joins Sophia Morgan of Fiji and other sailors for race three and four of the Sailing Women's Radial Laser Event.

To participate in the Olympic Games is the dream of every athlete around the world, Morgan told the Fiji Sun who realises this dream at the age of 17.

Their event is scheduled to start 5:35pm.

Taekwondo

Women 67kg - Round of 16, 4:30pm

Tonga's rising star Malia Paseka makes history today as the Kingdom's first female athlete to compete in Taekwondo.

When interviewed by Champions of the Pacific Paseka said, "I'm hoping to bring home some medals for Tonga, but at the end of the day it's not all about winning and losing.

For me to be here, to be representing my country, to be part of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, it's really an honour and there's only a few who get this opportunity and so I'm very blessed," she said.

Paseka's Round of 16 match is scheduled to take place at 4:30pm against Great Britain's Lauren Williams.

Weightlifting:

Women's 55kg, Group B, 4:50pm.

Solomon Islands' weightlifting champion Mary Kini Lifu, hopes to repeat her success in Tokyo as she did at the 2019 Pacific Games held in Apia, Samoa where she claimed gold by lifting a total of 162kg in the Women's 55kg division.

Lifu today will lift against athletes from Chinese Taipei, Canada, Poland and Japan in Group B, scheduled to start 4:50pm.