Frank Stowers sets new 'ippon' record in judo

About the author:

Tina Mata'afa-Tufele is a Pasifika journalist that has been writing and covering news related to the Samoan experience for over a decade. She's written for Samoa News in American Samoa, Tuatalatala.com (covering news from Hawaii, the U.S.

  • Judo Team Manager Travis Lamb with oldest member in Team Samoa Frank Stowers
    Judo Team Manager Travis Lamb with oldest member in Team Samoa Frank Stowers

Judo Team Manager Travis Lamb with oldest member in Team Samoa Frank Stowers

Team Samoa's oldest team member, Frank Stowers, set a new record of 7 seconds in the two-day XVI Pacific Games Judo Tournament  for fastest 'ippon' – the judo move that puts an opponent straight on his back and ends the fight.

Judo Team Manager for Samoa Travis Lamb, told Newsline Samoa, that Stowers, 47, set a record in the tournament held over two days at Gym 1.

He is the oldest team member and the second  oldest to compete in the judo competition.

"Frank Stowers here holds the record for this tournament for fastest ippon, seven seconds. At 47, he's also the second oldest man in the competition," Lamb said.

"I'm very proud of Frank, I'm very proud of the whole team actually for what they have achieved.

“These New Caledonians and Tahitians, they have a lot of funding to reach this level.

“We had to do with very little and I'm very proud of what the boys and the girls have achieved."

He said for some team members, it was the first competition.

"They've never been to a competition and we've only been doing judo for about eight months and to almost make it to the gold medal rounds at 16 or 17, that's incredible. I'm very proud of them," said Lamb.

New Caledonia and Tahiti receive lots of funding from France for judo and the France flag was hoisted along with their national flags when they won gold medals.

Stowers, who has been doing judo for 30 years, told Newsline the competition was tough and is grateful to God and his team

"First of all, I give all the glory to our God for what we have achieved. I am grateful. This competition was tough! This sport us not easy and I take my hat off to my team. My team did really good," he said.

"My team fought really hard today. I am thankful to our many supporters across the nation and those who came out to cheer for our team. Malo lava le tapua'i. We are thankful for your support."

Four of Samoa's judoka will go to Japan in August for training and the local judo association hopes to send a team to compete in Australia at the Oceania Open, said Lamb.

Samoa claimed four bronze medals in judo, three in the Individuals division on Tuesday: Derek Sua Stowers (100kg+) Peniamina Percival (81kg) and Maria Annette Gay (57kg); the fourth bronze was won in the Teams Tournament on Wednesday.

Judo ended with the teams contest and Powerlifting opened at Gym 1 on Thursday.