The University of Sydney 20 year old Samoan student, Sosefina So'oaemalelagi of Maugafiafia, Leulumoega and Ulutogia, is confident Team Samoa will medal in the triathlon race.
After close to five months, since taking up the sport, So'oaemalelagi confided in Newsline Samoa that her passion for the grueling three-part race is inspired by her family.
“A lot of my inspiration is from my family, my grandmother, parents and siblings have all played a really big role in my personal drive to be better than average.” She said.
“ Triathlon has given me the opportunity to grow in ways I hadn’t experienced before through the training and the comradeship of being part of a team of like-minded people.
So’oaemalelagi said she has been encouraged to push beyond what she thought herself capable of.
Coping with the challenges have helped her to not only grow as an athlete, but also in many other areas including better time management, focus, setting goals and much much more.
The triathlete train with the others as a team but in her experience so far, triathlon is very much an individual sport.
“There is nothing better than training together, experiencing total exhaustion, nervousness, setbacks, improvements, growth, laughter, pain and everything else in between with your team mates.”
Being the only female member of the team has its own challenge, however, her drive to become better each time, has enabled her to endure the difficulties of the sport.
“There are no easy parts to triathlon! The sport demands full focus at all times if you want to do well in it.
“The three disciplines are equally challenging in their own ways, I think that’s what makes it exciting, stimulating and fun.
“I really look forward to the training sessions, every single session is challenging, you have to push your body and mind to new limits every time.
“The challenge I face each day is not allowing my mind to give way to my body especially when its aching all over, tired and every inch is calling out for me to stop.
So’oaemalelagi is philosophical about the focus, determination and motivation as key factors that play a critical part in helping live a balanced life.
“Being an athlete is only one part of that cycle. When I think about training, work and contributing to my family life there are certain challenges that can get the best of you if you don’t plan and execute accordingly.
“I have found that I can always be better organised, learning to manage my time is critical, in fact I actually find myself with more time to do more things now, although I am busier than I ever have been, because I am better organised and still working to improve.
“We are aiming for gold! At the recent test event we had, I am 10 minutes off that time, however, my coach and I have set certain milestones in place we want to achieve leading up to the Games, provided we keep achieving those, there is no reason we can’t put ourselves out there to compete with the best that Oceania has to offer.”
So'oaemalelagi said that she looks forward to the competition. She said she has put her head down, trained smart and focused on her goal as she leaves the rest to divine guidance.