After a tremendous season and lead up, champion Samoan discus thrower, Alex Rose, was aiming high. He arrived in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as the seventh-ranked discus thrower in the world, armed with a fresh Personal Best of 67.48 metres and a recent World Athletics – Diamond League European experience.

Alex was hoping to be the first Samoan in the Olympic final; instead, he walked away disappointed. Rose threw 61.72m in the qualification round, finishing 18th (12 go through to the final).

“I expected to do better, have a better performance and to get into the final,” a disappointed Rose said after being eliminated.

Rose was the gold medallist at the 2019 Pacific Games in Port Moresby, where he also earned silver in the shot put and hammer throw. Although out of medal contention, Rose improved his Olympic ranking and result from Rio in 2016. He has moved from 29th (57.24m) in Rio to 18th (61.72m) in Tokyo.

Interview with PACNEWS;

“While gotten a lot better since Rio, I really wanted a further throw out here in Tokyo. Especially given how close I was to qualifying for the final – being only a metre shy is tough, after his competition Friday.”

“I was aiming for a 65 metres throw in qualifying, so I definitely could have been better.”

“I travelled too much for competitions this year, including two trips to and from Europe. Because of my surgery last September, I couldn’t lift much early in the year, and I think this affected my body’s resilience at the end of the season. 

Not let down by the result of his throw-in Japan, the 29-year-old is looking ahead to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games next year.

“From here, I plan on keeping my head up and training for the Commonwealth Games next year and the World Championships. I didn’t get what I wanted here in Tokyo, but I’m proud to be a two-time Olympian,” said Rose.

Born in the United States of America, he chose to compete for Samoa through his father and has the dual U.S and Samoan citizenship. His father moved from Samoa to the United States of America at age 19. 

“My father Ross was born and raised in Samoa in a small village in the middle of the island. I’ve always been someone who roots for the underdog. 

“I love competing for a smaller country, a developing nation. It’s just a different feeling. I’d love to get to the point where I’m at the Olympics and in the finals, and maybe it’s just for 30 seconds on TV they say, ‘And for the first time, a Samoan athlete qualified for the Olympic final,” said Rose.

Alex has undoubtedly shown potential this season, with tremendous promise going into the 2022 Commonwealth Games and World Championships.