(GOVT. PRESS SECRETARIAT); Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi did not compete for the bronze medal in the Archery Mixed Doubles Compound Category.
His withdrawal from the competition was confirmed by Samoa Archery President Muaausa Joseph Walter today noting that the Prime Minister had voluntarily withdrawn from the bronze medal decider with Tahiti to allow young Mathew Tauiliili as his replacement.
“The Prime Minister’s decision reaffirms his plea to Samoa’s young athletes to take advantage of the Pacific Games as leverage to their beginning sports career,” says Muaausa.
“His graceful withdrawal reaffirms his leadership role to invest in the future of our countries sports who are our young athletes like Mathew.
“And we respect his wisdom and commend him for being a great leader in our organisation and our country.”
The 17-year old Tauiliili is the youngest in Samoa’s Archery Team. And he is also the top male Compound shooter in the team.
From Lotosua Saleimoa, Tauiliili started archery in January this year and joined of five young archers handpicked to train in China for four months for the Games this week.
“It’s a great gesture from a great leader and it’s an honour to play for him and for our country,” said Tauiliili.
The Leulumoega Fou College student says that he is ready to perform to the best of his abilities and he’s more than motivated after encouraging advice from the Prime Minister after he made his announcement to the team this morning.
Tauiliili, the second oldest from a family of 6 sisters and 3 brothers will now team up with 19 year old Naifoua Vise Timai who is already a bronze medallist for Samoa.