15 Jun 2012

Sport: Samoa backs its medal chances for London Games

10:50 am on 15 June 2012

Samoa believes it has a genuine shot at a medal at next month's Olympic Games.

Samoa sent six athletes to the 2008 Games in Beijing and will have a small increase in London competing across a range of sports, including taekwondo, archery and weightlifting.

The Chef de Mission for Team Samoa, Tapasu Leung Wai, says the National Olympic Committee made a promise eight years ago that it would win medals at Commonwealth and Olympic level.

He says their best shot in London is weightlifter Ele Opeloge, who's currently ranked third in the world, and headlines a much improved Samoan team.

"The dream was to take ten qualified athletes but now I think it looks like eight or seven. We have increased the number a little bit. Ten years ago we only take wildcard athletes but now it's a different ball game altogether and we're very happy that we have lifted our games very much that we are now taking qualified athletes instead of wilcards."