Samoa’s Gaku Akazawa Wins Gold in Egypt, Qualifies for Paris Olympics

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Samoa's Gaku Akazawa has won GOLD in Egypt and QUALIFIED for Paris 2024. Photo: Oceania Wrestling.

Samoa’s Gaku Akazawa has won GOLD in the Mens 67kg Freestyle at the African – Oceania Championships 2024 in Egypt.

The event was also the final Olympic Qualifiers for the sport and Samoa’s Coach-Athlete has secured his spot for Paris in July.

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Akazawa is also Samoa’s Head Coach for Wrestling and has been instrumental in the revival of sport, together with Samoa Weightlifting Federation President Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork.

Mr Akazaua relocated to Samoa in 2017 and is married to Samoan nurse, Sinevalley Akazawa.

After a 12-year absence from competing at an Oceania Wrestling event, Samoa made a great come back in August 2023, when the Alofipo brothers – Maulalo Willie and Joshua Alofipo – secured two gold medals in Canberra with Gaku Akazawa by their side as coach.

Coach Gaku Akazawa with Samoa’s two Gold Medalists in the Greco-Roman Style – Maulalo Willie and Joshua Alofipo. Oceania Senior Wrestling Championships Aug 2023, AIS Canberra. Photo: Samoa Wrestling.

A month ago in February 2024, the Samoa Wrestling Team won two Gold Medals for the Greco-Roman Roman style at the Oceania Wrestling Championships and Olympic Qualifiers 2024 held in Guam.

President of Samoa Wrestling Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork said at the time that it was an outstanding achievement by Samoa’s two-man team led by athlete-coach Gaku Akazawa and his former student now team mate, Maulalo Willie Alofipo.

Wrestling as a sport has not been able to secure firm sponsorship for the development of its athletes despite the hard work and commitment of its athletes and coaches to pursue the dream of flying the Samoan flag in Paris.

The National Bank of Samoa and Island Rock have been loyal supporters assisting with team preparations and cost of travel.

Faafetai Samoa mo lau tapuaiga. 

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