“My Father Was My First Coach” – Super Heavyweight Gold Medalist Dedicates Win to his Dad

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20 July 2019, Pacific Games Apia Samoa. Filimaua Hala won a Gold medal for Samoa in the boxing Super Heavyweight 91+ division in Savaii yesterday but his father Oliveta Hala could not make the trip across to Savaii to watch him fight.

Filmaua beat Tongan boxer Lavemai Sepasitino in Samoa’s clean sweep at the Don Bosco Hall yesterday when they won 7 finals to secure 7 gold medals for Samoa.

Filimaua is from the villages of Mulifanua with roots in Faala Palaui, Savaii and is the 5th of Oliveta Hala and Laina Salamo’s 12 children.

The 28 year old won by Technical Knock Out (TKO) called by the referee in the first round of the bout.

Speaking to Samoa Global News from Savaii, the gold medalist says he has been boxing since 2003 when he was just 12 years old.

Filimaua says that boxing is a family sport; his father was his first coach who has also represented Samoa

“My father is a boxer, and so are some of my siblings and cousins,” he said.

“For me personally boxing is a way to bond with my old man, it’s how we communicate with each other.

“I can say that boxing is a family sport because even my young nephews are into it now and with me winning a Gold medal they will definitely want me to train them and teach them some new skills.”

Filimaua said he will enjoy every moment of this achievement before they start to focus on the next job of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics.

“Now that this is over I can just relax with my family and enjoy every moment of this for a couple of days, before I get back to training,” he said.

“My next big dream is to get qualified for the Olympics and I know all of my boxing mates are preparing for that too.

“We want to put Samoa on the map and if we get qualified, that means it will be intense training for us from now until the Tokyo Olympic.”

The gold medalist said he is aiming for a medal at the Olympics but that can only come with hard work.

“If I want to win a gold at that big event then it means I have to make a lot of sacrifices and focus on my trainings.”

Filmaua will return from Savaii today with the rest of Team Samoa Boxing in tim for the closing ceremony today.


Deidre Fanene