Not quite last, but cross country placing still a victory for Tonga, says ski boss

    Lava e fe’auhi ‘a Pita Taufatofua he fe’auhi sikī tātu’usi lotofonua mita ‘e 15000. Na’e fika 114 ‘o ne fononga’i ia ‘i he miniti ‘e 56 sekoni 41. Na’a ne tōmui atu’aki ki he tepi ha miniti ‘e 23 ‘i mui he tokotaha sikī ‘a Suisalani Dario Cologna ‘a ia ne ne ikuna ‘a e koula. Pehē ne 'ika taumu'a ia ki he koula ka ke faka'ai'ai ha fa'ahinga mei he Pasifiki ki he sipoti ni.

    Tongan Olympian Peter Taufatofua has successfully completed the 15km men’s cross country freestyle competition at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

    Taufatofua came 114th in 56 minutes and 41 seconds.

    He finished 23 minutes behind Swiss skier Dario Cologna, who took gold, but still ahead of four other competitors.

    Head of Sport for the Royal Tonga Ski Federation, Steve Grundmann, said his result was a success for Tonga.

    “It was never about what position he would finish,” Grundman said.

    Before the race Taufatofua told the BBC his ambitions were to “finish before they turn the lights off” and not ski into a tree.

    Taufatofua said he did not expect to win gold, but hoped he would inspire others from the Pacific Islands to compete.

    As Kaniva News reported earlier, he is only the second Tongan to compete in the Winter Olympics. Bruno Banani completed in the luge at Sochi.

    He began training as a skier only a year ago, after competing in taekwondo at the Rio Games.

    Earlier this week Taufatofua expressed sympathy for people in Tonga affected  by Cyclone Gita, which he described as devastating for the country.

    The main points

    • Tongan Olympian Peter Taufatofua has successfully completed the 15km men’s cross country freestyle competition at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
    • Taufatofua came 114th in 56 minutes and 41 seconds.
    • Head of Sport for the Royal Tonga Ski Federation, Steve Grundmann, said his result was a success for Tonga.

    For more information

    Taufatofua’s result a success for Tonga

    From Rio Games to Winter Olympics, Pita Taufatofua takes on cross-country ski

    Taufatofua steals the limelight again, but faces a tough challenge from top athletes

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