Queensland hosts Tongan athletes, taekwondo team ahead of Samoan Pacific Games

    Tonga’s Pacific Games Taekwondo Team flew out of Brisbane yesterday for the Pacific Game in Samoa.

    The team arrived from Tonga three weeks ago to train before the Game.

    “We are thrilled to see our Tongan teams selecting to train here in Australia,” Brisbane Tongan Community Event Co-ordinator, Toakase Layt said.

    Coach Paula Sitapa said when he first saw the team in Tonga before the start of the Brisbane training programme he doubted their chances.

    However, he said they were now ready.

    When asked about the biggest challenges the team faced at the Pacific Games, Sitapa said: “We are Tongan! We rule and conquered other nations.”

    Sitapa trained Pita Taufatofua who represented Tonga at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

    “Taekwondo is a sport that tells the individual that he or she can reach their highest potential in life by realising who they are and their purpose,” Sitapa said.

    Meanwhile, a total of 40 Tongan athletes have been training in Townsville in North Queensland.

    They were hosted by  Va‘ai Taumalolo, father of Mate ma‘a Tonga legend, Jason Taumalolo.

    The main points

    • Tonga’s Pacific Games Taekwondo Team flew out of Brisbane yesterday for the Pacific Game in Samoa.
    • The team arrived from Tonga three weeks ago to train before the Game.

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