Samoa’s highest ranked boxer, Tupuola Seua’i Ato Leau Plodzicki-Faoagali has ended years of preparation, hard work and sacrifice with a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games representing his father’s homeland of Samoa.
The Sydney-based Australian-born Samoa Olympian says he thought he had done enough to secure the gold medal for his country against the might of games hosts, England, but the judges saw it differently.
“To be very honest I thought I had won Rounds 1 & 3 clearly.. but it is what it is.. that’s boxing sometimes, they don’t see what you feel in there,” says Tupuola Seua’i after his final bout of the 2022 Commonwealth Games against England’s Lewis Williams.
“I fought the best I could, but it wasn’t enough according to judges so here is our silver medal Samoa 🇼🇸 Alofa atu!”
Plodzicki-Faoagali’s journey has been mostly self-funded through the support of his parents’ respective families.
Speaking to Samoa Global News from Birmingham, Ato says his Faoagali and Plodzicki family have been there from Day 1 to help finance his tournaments and campaigns.
“There have been so many challenges with limited resources but my family on both sides have been there and always come through for me,” says the Pacific Games gold medalist.
“That’s why they’re calld Team A.T.O. (Against the Odds),” laughs Tupuola Seua’i.
“But all glory to God. Viia Le Atua 🙏🏽 Fa’afetai Samoa, faapea nai o’u aiga mo le tou tapuaiga.”
The 23 year old who has been representing Samoa since he was a teenager is Samoan through his father and Polish through his mother.
He holds two chiefly titles from Samoa. Tupuola from his grandfather’s side in Sa’aga Siumu, and Seua’i from his grandmother’s village of Tuanai.
Samoa’s two time Commonwealth Games silver medalist defeated the Asia Pacific Champion Sanjeet Sanjeet from India by 3-2 in his first round.
In the quarter final Plodzicki-Faoagali defeated his opponent by TKO when the referee was forced to stop the fight in the second round.
The semi-final win was a courageous defeat of Niue’s Duken Tutakitoa-Williams, just 24 hours before the final against Lewis Williams of England, who had eliminated Australia in the other semi-final.
Tupuola Seua’i says it’s back home to the family in Sydney for him.
“It’s time to rest the body,” he says. “The four fights in a week took its toll, so rest for now, then think about the future from there..”
Team ATO would like to acknowledge and thank the following sponsors and organisations who have supported his journey.
Royal Blends Barbershops
Command Fitness Ingleburn
4 Seasons Tree Care
Marist Boxing Club, Samoa
Samoa Boxing Federation