Love Sports, Love Study More: One-athlete Delegation of Samoa
   2011-08-18 11:20:02      Web Editor: liuranran

Emanuele Fuamatu (R) of Samoa poses for a photo with coach Mervyn Kemp after an exclusive interview with CRI at the Universiade Village in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, on Wednesday, August 17, 2011. [Photo: Xu]

By Zhang Xu

Emanuele Fuamatu, the 21-year-old Samoan who competed in the men's shot put at the Shenzhen Universiade, is the only one athlete representing his country at the international multi-sports event for university students.

"I am the only athlete here because I requested my country's university association to compete at this competition, because I know this competition is a very just competitive," Fuamatu said Wednesday during an exclusive interview with CRI.

Mervyn Kemp, Fuamatu 's coach, said another reason the two came to the Universiade was that it presented a good opportunity for Fuamatu to prepare for next year's London Olympic Games.

"I think it's important in competition level towards maybe, hopefully, meeting the Olympic Games next year, so it's very good experience to compete at this level, and it's like a rehearsal for Olympic Games with qualifying rounds and all of the same procedures as at the Olympic Games," Kemp said.

Although Fuamatu is the only delegate from Samoa, he doesn't feel alone in Shenzhen.

"Shenzhen is a great place," he said. "The hospitality of the people and their kindness are very good. I find them very helpful. They help you with anything you need and get it for you. It's quite pleasant!"

Fuamatu, who started his athletic career when he was 11 years old, has competed in the International Association of Athletics Federations World Junior Championships in Beijing in 2006, some U.S. championships, and a couple of events last yea in India.

Although Fuamatu made it to the finals at the Shenzhen Universiade, he failed to win a medal. Nevertheless, he believes he can win one two years from now at the next Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia.

"My final was competitive with a very high-quality (performance)," Fuamatu said. "Many of my opponents were much older than I and had a good deal of experience. They are very strong, but I think in two more years I can beat them."

When not competing, Fuamatu attends college in Sydney, Australia, where he is studying for degrees in international relations and politics and law.

"Study is very important in life because I compete at athletics which is not like other sports where you can earn a lot of money," he said. "You need a backup in case something bad happens. And education is good for your life. Athletics don't last all your life -- only a couple of years, then it's (over)."

Fuamatu plans to become a diplomat or politician after he retires from his athletic career.


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