By Matt Bowcott of The Reporters’ Academy
Tavevele Noa is Tuvalu’s male 100m sprinter and the last member of Team Tuvalu to compete. He took to the blocks at 10:14 am, on the second day of the athletics competition at the Olympic Stadium, Tavevele was ready for the biggest race of his career.
Drawn in heat 2, lane 7, the Tuvaluan sprinter was ready for action, Tavevele said “Before the race my coach said to me ‘just focus on yourself, not on any other competitors’, I focused and concentrated on the finish line.” Tavevele was pleased with his start, a reaction time of 0.180 seconds, “the middle of the race for me was good, it wasn’t until the 60m mark that I started to tire, and I felt my hamstring pull a bit.”
He crossed the line with a time of 11.55 seconds “I know I can go faster, and I think without my hamstring problem I would have.” Finishing 6th in his heat, and 26th overall Tavevele is looking ahead “I will go back to training and try to improve my speed, I know I can go faster.”
Team Tuvalu have now all competed at the Olympics Games and go away with a personal best and a national records in weightlifting and the Women’s 100m sprint. Secretary General of the Tuvalu National Olympic Committee, Teake Manatu, spoke about their overall performance “We are very happy. For us as long as everybody has tried their best that is good, it is a learning curve for everybody.”
All of the Tuvalu athletes have done their country proud, contributing to Tuvalu’s Olympic history, by competing in their second ever games. Coming from one of the smallest countries in the Olympic, they have achieved great things, competing at this world class level is a massive achievement and they will be going back to Tuvalu with their heads held high.